Dental Implants — San Marcos, TX

Rebuild a Beautiful, Functional Smile

Losing even one tooth can have serious consequences for both your oral health and your self-confidence. At Rio Vista Dental, our team has the experience and skill set to restore your smile with dental implants for a virtually seamless result. While traditional dentures and bridges will let you eat and speak again, dental implants are the only solution that will keep your jaw healthy and strong by preventing bone loss. Ready to regain your best smile? Dr. David Earnest is here to help!

Why Choose Rio Vista Dental for Dental Implants?

  • Start-to-Finish Convenience
  • Evening and Weekend Appointments Available
  • Flexible Financing Available

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implant replacing a front tooth.

A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed into your jawbone to act as a new root. An abutment is placed onto the post to connect a crown. This replaces the entire tooth structure to provide a close replica of your natural smile using a solution that can last for a lifetime. It’s the only treatment to mimic both the root and the crown, allowing you to enjoy exceptional benefits that aren’t possible with any other option.

The 4 Step Dental Implant Process

Dental implants

Replacing teeth via dental implants is extremely effective, especially when you have the entire process managed by a highly trained team you can trust. Dr. Earnest has the experience necessary to ensure your tooth replacement procedure is smooth and predictable from start to finish. Since every step is conveniently performed in one practice, you won’t have to make multiple trips around town just to get it done! Of course, if you have questions about the overall procedure, we’re here to help! For an in-person consultation, feel free to contact us today.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

An older couple smiling and hugging outside.

When you first arrive for your consultation, we’ll need to perform a highly detailed examination of your mouth and your bone tissue. Before you can complete any type of oral surgery, let alone implant placement, you need to have all oral health concerns handled first. This includes gum disease, tooth decay, or other problems that could complicate your implant treatment. Furthermore, you’ll need to have sufficient bone volume so the implants can integrate effectively with your jaw. Through digital X-ray technology, we’ll be able to confirm your eligibility for treatment, then begin planning your treatment from there.

Dental Implant Surgery

An older woman at her dental implant consultation.

During the actual surgery, your mouth will be numbed so you do not feel any discomfort during the actual treatment. Upon administering the local anesthetic, we’ll create a small incision in your gum tissue in order to access the bone underneath. After making room for the titanium implant, we’ll place it directly into your jaw and then seal it up so that it can begin to heal. In the event that you choose Same Day Teeth to restore your smile, you can walk out of the office with a temporary denture the same day that your implants are placed.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

An older man learning about the dental implant process.

Over the next several months, your dental implant(s) will need to undergo a healing phase known as osseointegration. This is the process in which dental implants physically bond with your jawbone, ensuring a lasting foundation and a tooth replacement you can truly rely on. After this initial healing phase is completed (which usually takes four to six months), you’ll come back to our office to have an abutment placed. This acts as a foundation for your eventual restoration, whether it’s a single crown, implant bridge, or denture. Once the abutment is placed, we’ll allocate an additional few weeks for the gum tissue to heal around it.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

An older woman examining her smile with a dentist.

During your final appointment, we’ll cover the implant with your dedicated restoration. All restorations are made from tooth and gum-colored materials, so you can have confidence in your smile’s appearance moving forward. If you chose our Same Day Teeth procedure, your temporary denture will be replaced with a permanent version. During placement, we’ll make sure that you are satisfied with how it looks before you leave our practice. Caring for your tooth replacement is as simple as practicing consistent oral care and making time to visit the dentist for routine exams and cleanings.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Smiling woman

Dental implants are the only treatment to replace the entire tooth structure. This allows you to enjoy several advantages that aren’t possible with any other solution.

  • They look and feel completely natural.
  • They can last a lifetime.
  • They have an exceptionally high success rate (around 98%).
  • They can restore your teeth without forcing you to sacrifice your surrounding ones in the process.
  • They keep the jawbone full and healthy.
  • There’s no slippage or looseness to worry about.
  • You can eat and speak with complete confidence.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Smiling man

Every tooth is invaluable to your oral health and functions. Losing even a single tooth can place you at a higher risk of cavities, gum disease, and additional missing teeth because your jawbone will slowly shrink since it isn’t being stimulated by the root. As you lose more teeth, certain foods can be too difficult to chew, which may result in dietary limitations that can cause nutritional deficiencies. You don’t need to feel the weight of an incomplete smile affecting your well-being or your self-esteem. Dental implants can replace any number of missing teeth depending on your needs.

Missing 1 Tooth

A single tooth implant will be restored with an all-ceramic dental crown that’s been precisely designed to match your existing teeth. This method allows our team to preserve the health of surrounding teeth while giving patients the support and structure they need most. In fact, the result is so lifelike, after a while you may not even remember it’s a prosthetic tooth!

Missing Multiple Teeth

When replacing more than one tooth at a time, an implant bridge is typically our recommendation of choice. This appliance will resemble a traditional bridge with one important difference – it’s designed to attach to your new implants, creating a much sturdier and more confident result overall. A fixed bridge can also help you maintain a youthful facial appearance and restore harmony to your bite.

Missing All Teeth

implant denture in San Marcos

Dentures are commonly used to replace an entire arch of teeth. When they’re secured by dental implants, you won’t have to worry about them slipping or becoming ill-fitting over time. You’ll also be able to safely chew a wider variety of foods to maintain a balanced diet.

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Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Dental Implant Model

If you’re considering dental implants, cost must be at the top of your list of questions. When it comes to implant treatment, it’s important to understand that price ranges are based on a variety of factors that differ from patient to patient. At Rio Vista Dental, Dr. Earnest provides the placement and restoration of dental implants all at the same convenient location, saving you the time and money that it takes to see an oral surgeon. Read on to learn more about what contributes to the cost of your dental implants in San Marcos.

Types of Dental Implants

Woman smiling in dental chair Every implant case is different, which is why there are various types of treatments that you can receive. For a single missing tooth, we will typically recommend an implant crown to seamlessly complete your smile. If you’re missing multiple teeth consecutively, we can use multiple dental implants to support a custom-made dental bridge. This prosthetic literally “bridges” the gap in your smile. For patients missing all or most of their teeth, we can use implant dentures for a complete smile replacement. Each of these options come with different prices, which will usually increase based on the number of implants needed and the materials used.

Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?

Woman smiling in dental chair While dental implants tend to come with a higher price tag than other tooth replacement options, their benefits make them well worth it. Because they can last for a lifetime with proper care, you can save money in the future with fewer dental visits and replacements. However, their biggest advantage affects your health and appearance. Dental implants preserve the strength of your jawbone by stimulating it, which keeps your face full and your remaining teeth in place.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Middle-aged man smiling Unfortunately, most insurance plans don’t cover dental implants, but they may help out with certain costs associated with your procedure. Preexisting dental issues must be treated before the placement of your implants, which can usually be covered by insurance as well as your consultation. Our friendly team is experienced in working with insurance companies to maximize your benefits while minimizing your out-of-pocket costs.

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Smiling senior woman outdoors When you visit the team at Rio Vista Dental to replace one tooth or your full smile with dental implants, we will partner with you every step of the way to ensure your treatment is a complete success. Below, you’ll find some basic tips and tricks to make caring for your replacement teeth a snap. If you ever have questions, don’t hesitate to contact our office. We’ll be happy to answer your questions or schedule an appointment so we can review your implants. We want our patients to smile with total confidence for a lifetime, and we’re happy to do everything we can to make that happen.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Smiling older man and woman outdoors Caring for your teeth with daily tooth brushing and flossing should always be a priority, but if you’ve been lax with your at-home oral hygiene in the past, it’s time to make some improvements. Some important things to keep in mind when caring for your smile after implant supported tooth replacement include:

  • Brush teeth for two minutes at a time at least two times each day.
  • For best results, you should also brush between meals, or at least take the time to use an oral rinse to remove food particles.
  • When brushing, place the toothbrush bristles at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line to remove plaque buildup around soft tissue.
  • Always use soft or ultra-soft toothbrushes and minimally abrasive, fluoridated toothpaste.
  • If you have a full denture with no healthy remaining teeth, you do not need to use fluoridated toothpaste, but you should still use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid excessive wear to your replacement teeth.
  • You should floss at least once each day.
  • To avoid tugging around the edges of your prosthetic, you may want to use a waxed floss or an air or water flosser.
  • If you have a full denture, you may want to use an antimicrobial oral rinse or an air or water flosser to remove plaque buildup between the gums and dentures.

Protect Your Dental Implants

Smiling older man in dental chair Unlike traditional dental crowns, bridges, and dentures, your dental implants function much more like your natural teeth, and many people can keep their prosthetic tooth or teeth for decades or even the rest of their lives. For this reason, it’s important to take some steps to protect your new smile, including:

  • Wear sports guards to protect teeth during athletic events or competitions where your smile may come in contact with other players, hard surfaces, or sports equipment.
  • If you grind or clench your teeth at night, use a mouthguard to protect your natural smile and replacement teeth from excessive wear, chips, and cracks,
  • Do not use your teeth to open packages or crack nuts.
  • Stop chewing on ice, fingernail, or other hard objects.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Model of implant denture In addition to caring for and protecting your implants at home, visiting your dentist for dental checkups and professional teeth cleanings is essential. These six-month dental appointments allow our team to look for changes to your oral health, implant movement, damage to your prosthetic tooth or teeth, and other issues that may adversely impact the longevity of your denture. By visiting your dentist at least two times each year for checkups, you make it possible for your dental care provider to find and repair minor problems before your implant restoration is in major trouble. You should also let the dentist know right away if you notice changes to the way your implant tooth replacement is working. The sooner we repair damaged smiles the better.

Dental Implant Failure & Salvage

Woman in the dental chair with a toothache

Dental implants have an amazing success rate of 95%, even 10 years after their initial placement. However, there is still a rare chance that you could experience a dental implant failure. If your restored smile begins to feel uncomfortable or you’re concerned about the well-being of your dental implants for another reason, don’t hesitate to give us a call right away. There may be a chance that we can salvage your replacement teeth.

Learn More About Dental Implant Failure & Salvage

Dental Implant FAQs

Man with dental implants in San Marcos smiling

With a 30+ year lifespan, dental implants in San Marcos are quite the commitment. So, naturally, you want to know as much as you can about this tooth-replacement solution beforehand. The good news is that you’re in the right place! If you have a specific question about your treatment or treatment options, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team directly. If you’d like to continue your research online instead, then keep reading to learn the answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants.

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

Don’t worry – whether you’re getting one dental implant or several, the first step is always the same: to thoroughly numb your mouth. Plus, the jawbone doesn’t have any nerve endings, which makes it even less likely that you’ll feel any discomfort. Of course, in the days following your procedure, you’ll likely feel some soreness. The good news is that you can use a cold compress to minimize swelling and take an over-the-counter pain reliever as directed to stay comfortable.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

One of the biggest perks of dental implants is that they boast an impressive 95% success rate! Of course, that rests heavily on how well you care for them. Bad dental habits, like smoking, using your teeth as tools to open things, and neglecting to floss your teeth consistently, can result in dental implant failure in the short and long term. If, on the other hand, you commit to a solid oral hygiene routine, quit unhealthy dental habits, and visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning, then your dental implants will likely last for several decades.

What Can Cause Dental Implants to Fail?

Although dental implant failure could be the result of everything from poor oral hygiene habits to certain health conditions, the two most common reasons are peri-implantitis and failed osseointegration. The first is a form of gum disease and the second is the unsuccessful fusion of the jawbone and dental implant. Don’t worry – our team will review all of this information with you during your consultation (and throughout the treatment process) to help save you from any complications.

How Can I Tell If My Dental Implant Is Failing?

Although dental implant failure is rare, it can happen. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye out for warning signs, like inflamed, swollen, or red gums. The moment any unusual symptoms arise, get in touch with your implant dentist in San Marcos.

Am I Too Old to Get Dental Implants?

The good news is that there isn’t an upper age limit for dental implants – you can get them whether you’re 35 or 75! Candidacy for this state-of-the-art tooth-replacement solution is based on other factors, like jawbone density, healthy gums, and a commitment to a solid oral hygiene regimen. In short, if you’re interested in getting dental implants, don’t let age stop you from scheduling a consultation.