Dental Implants - Waco, TX
Rebuild Your Smile With Dental Implants
Do you have missing teeth? Do they make it difficult for you to speak clearly or impossible to eat all of your favorite foods? Do they make you shy away from meeting people or cause you to avoid social functions altogether? If so, each of these problems and more can be completely taken care of with dental implants in Central Texas. They are the most permanent and aesthetically pleasing tooth replacement option currently available today, and you can get them right here in Waco with Dr. Rick Cofer’s help at Premier Family Dental.
Why Choose Premier Family Dental for Dental Implants?
- Dental Implants Placed & Restored In-House
- Dentist Is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists
- State-of-the-Art CT / Cone Beam Scanner for Precise Implant Placement
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are relatively simple in structure, consisting of three basic parts: a titanium root, an abutment, and a custom restoration. This titanium root is what makes dental implants so special – they replace the entire tooth structure, unlike dentures and bridges (which only replace the visible part of the tooth). The abutment is a small, screw-like device that attaches the restoration to the titanium root. Your restoration can be a dental crown, bridge, or even a full denture. Dental implants are so versatile that they can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even an entire mouthful of teeth.
How Dental Implants Work
No matter how many teeth you are missing, dental implants could be the right choice for you. It’s time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cofer! During this appointment, you’ll both discuss what you would like for your smile, and he’ll determine if dental implants are the right solution for you. If they are, the procedure involves three basic phases:
This is a minor surgical procedure where Dr. Cofer will make a small incision in your gums and position the implant post(s) so that it can provide maximum hold and stability. He’ll use a variety of scans and X-rays to make sure it is in the perfect place.
You’ll then be given 4-6 months for your gums and jaw to heal. Any pain or soreness from the procedure usually lasts about a week, and it should be easily managed with over-the-counter medication. This period is mostly to allow time for the posts to naturally bond to your jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This is another reason why dental implants are so reliable and durable –the posts connect to your jaw just like your natural teeth. During this time, you’ll have a temporary restoration so you can always smile with confidence during the process.
You’ll return to Premier Family Dental when you’re fully healed so that Dr. Cofer can place your abutments, which is what will connect your restoration directly to the implants. After you have healed, your final restoration will be placed, and your new smile will be ready for the world!
Benefits of Dental Implants
There’s no substitution quite like your natural teeth, but fortunately, there is a treatment that comes incredibly close to the real deal. Implant-retained prosthetics combine all of the great benefits of traditional bridges and dentures with those of dental implants, which restore the missing root structure of teeth. Boasting impressive success rates and a beautiful, natural appearance, it’s no wonder why so many patients choose to restore their smile with this advanced solution.
- Not every traditional restoration offers the security required to comfortably chew your food. In fact, many people who have been wearing their dentures for quite awhile experience slipping and shifting when they eat because their prosthetics no longer perfectly fit their mouth due to palate changes. With dental implants, you can chew all of your favorite foods without having to worry about embarrassing moments.
- A boost of confidence may not seem life a life-changing benefit, but you’d be surprised! When you have a complete and natural-looking smile that’s restored with dental implants, you’ll see improvements in many different areas of your life, such as social interactions, career advancements, and even dating.
- Unlike most tooth replacement treatments, dental implants are incredibly easy to care for. In fact, you take care of them just like you would your natural teeth. By brushing twice each day, rinsing daily, and visiting your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning, you can enjoy your new smile for decades to come.
- Your natural teeth have roots that are anchored to your jawbone, providing it with stimulation and blood flow that keeps it from deteriorating. When those teeth go missing, or even if they’re replaced with a prosthetic like dentures that only restores the biting surface, you’ll begin to notice facial changes over time as a direct result of deterioration. Because dental implants restore the roots of your teeth as well as the biting surface, you won’t have to worry about this issue.
- Gaps in your smile aren’t just an aesthetic issue. They can also put you at an increased risk of other problems, such as gum disease. With a complete smile, you won’t have to worry about hidden nooks and crannies collecting plaque, bacteria, and tartar that could put your oral health in harm’s way.
- Eating all of your favorite foods isn’t just a day-to-day benefit. It also expands your diet so you can get the nutrition your body needs to thrive. By easily being able to eat steak, chicken, breads, and other integral foods in any diet, you’ll be able to stay healthier.
- Dental implants offer an impressive 95 percent success rate, even 10 years after they’re placed. Not only can you rest-assured that your choice to invest in dental implants in Waco will be worthwhile, but you can also be confident that the procedure is tried-and-true.
- Some patients can be deterred from getting dental implants because they have a higher price tag than traditional dentures. However, something to consider is that their lifespan is about four times as long (35+ years!). That means that you won’t have to visit your dentist in Waco as often to replace or repair your restoration, saving you money and time.
- Another long-term benefit of dental implants is that you won’t have to alter your lifestyle. If your friends invite you out to a steakhouse or you run marathons, you won’t have to worry about whether your prosthetic will be able to handle the movement or chewiness, because dental implants are the most stable tooth replacement option available.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
No matter how many teeth you’ve lost, you may still be a candidate for dental implants:
Missing One Tooth
An all-porcelain crown will be used to replace a single tooth. Dental porcelain is just as strong and durable as natural enamel, and it can be specially shaded to seamlessly match the rest of your smile.
Missing Multiple Teeth
Dental implants can also be used to support a bridge. Once an all-porcelain crown has been placed, it can be bonded to multiple prosthetic teeth that will simply sit on top of the gums. This is much faster than replacing each individual tooth with implants, and it doesn’t require your other teeth to be filed down to hold crowns (which is required for traditional bridges).
Missing All Teeth
Dental implants can also support a set of full dentures for the upper and/or lower jaw. These dentures have many benefits over traditional ones:
- Since they are held in place with dental implants, they will never slip, pop, or click.
- They retain their fit for much longer because they support the jaw and keep it healthy and full.
- They provide a much stronger bite force than traditional dentures, which means patients can enjoy a wider variety of healthy foods. Many patients can’t chew essential proteins and vegetables with normal dentures, and they often become malnourished. This is why people with traditional full dentures tend to live 10 years LESS than the average life expectancy. Thankfully, implant-retained dentures can correct all of these problems and last an entire, healthy lifetime.
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
The cost of dental implants in Waco is influenced by a number of factors, including how many teeth you need to replace. While traditional dentures and bridges may cost less initially, no restorative treatment can compare to the maximum stability and long-lasting nature of dental implants. During an initial consultation at Premier Family Dental, Dr. Cofer will carefully examine your smile, discuss your unique goals, and provide you with an accurate cost estimate.
Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery
To prepare for dental implant surgery, you may first have to undergo some preliminary treatments. When necessary, gum disease therapy, extractions, or bone grafting are critical to ensuring successful implant treatment. However, these procedures will likely add to your overall costs.
The implant placement surgery, which often involves anesthesia, also incurs its own cost. Many dental practices must send their patients to an outside specialist for this step, which can be a hassle and sometimes increase costs. Fortunately, Dr. Cofer is an experienced implant dentist in Waco and can place implants right here at our office.
The Parts of Your Dental Implant
The material used to craft your dental implants, along with how many teeth you wish to replace, will impact the cost of your implant treatment. Most dental implants are made from either titanium or zirconia. However, just like some brands of cars are more reliable and long-lasting than others, some implant brands and materials offer certain advantages. Dr. Cofer will be happy to share more details about the quality implants he uses to replace teeth during your initial consultation.
Final Dental Implant Restoration
The type of restoration required also affects the final cost of dental implants in Waco. There are three major types of implant-supported restorations:
- Crown – Fill the gap in your smile left by a missing tooth with a dental implant and custom crown.
- Implant Bridge – Two dental implants plus a bridge can replace several consecutive missing teeth.
- Implant Denture – Restore an entire row of teeth with just four to six dental implants and an implant denture.
Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Although many dental insurance plans do not cover dental implants, there are some exceptions. Preliminary treatments like gum disease therapy or a bone graft procedure are typically covered by insurance. In addition, you may be able to count on your dental insurance to reduce the cost of the crown, bridge, or denture that attach to your implants. Before moving ahead with implant treatment, be sure to contact your insurance provider and confirm what is covered and what is not. If you would like assistance, our expert staff at Premier Family Dental will be happy to help you understand your insurance plan and maximize your benefits.
Making Dental Implants Affordable
Even without dental insurance, you can still restore your smile with dental implants in Waco without blowing up your budget. For instance, patients that sign up for our in-house membership plan receive preventive oral care for a predictable flat rate and sizable discounts on other procedures like implant treatment. No insurance forms, no deductibles, no calls with insurance agents! Just the oral care you need and deserve at affordable prices.
In addition to our in-house membership plan, we are also proud to partner with CareCredit and Compassionate Finance. These trusted dental financing organizations offer low to no-interest payment plans for implant treatment and other dental services. Restore your smile without straining your wallet by breaking up the cost of treatment into manageable monthly payments.
Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants
Dental implants are built to last, to the point where they still have a 95% success rate after 10 years. But just like your real teeth, their longevity depends on your ability to take care of them and protect them from damage. Drs. Cofer and Maxwell can provide you with some helpful tips for implant maintenance once surgery and placement are complete. As long as you’re diligent with your implant care, they’ll continue to serve you well while you eat, speak, and enjoy yourself with your loved ones.
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
Implant restorations have to be brushed and flossed like real teeth. While cavities are not a concern for dental implants, you need to keep them clean of bacteria that could attack nearby gum tissue and eventually cause bone and tooth loss. (There’s also a risk that any bacteria on the implants could also cause tooth decay on nearby teeth.) Make sure that you’re brushing for at least two minutes every day. Rinsing with an ADA-approved mouthwash also helps.
Eat a Healthy Diet
An occasional sugary snack shouldn’t be too much of an issue, but eating nothing but sugar and starch can lead to serious dental issues – particularly the kind that can put your implants at risk. Make sure your diet contains plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy products that won’t have a negative impact on gum and tooth health. Foods rich in calcium and vitamin C are particularly good for your mouth and will help you maintain a jawbone that can safely support your dental implants for decades.
Break Bad Habits
Have you been smoking or using tobacco products for a long time? Do you occasionally bite your nails or chew on pen tips when you’re feeling nervous? Do you use your teeth instead of scissors to open packages? All of these habits tend to be very hard on the teeth; in fact, some of them may have even contributed to your tooth loss in the first place. You can keep your implants safe by breaking these habits as soon as possible. Keep sugar-free gum handy for when you want to chew on something. You can also research programs and other resources that can help you stop smoking.
Protect Your Dental Implants
When you’re under a lot of stress, you might start grinding your teeth without realizing it. This is especially a problem while you’re sleeping and don’t have direct control over what your mouth is doing. Investing in a mouthguard to wear at night could keep your implant (and the rest of your teeth) from suffering serious damage. Of course, you should also get a mouthguard if you plan on playing any sports; the last thing you want is to break your implant after getting hit in the jaw.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Dr. Cofer and Dr. Maxwell can detect potential problems with your dental implant that you may not notice by yourself. Continue visiting our office for regular checkups so that any issues can be dealt with quickly and at a reasonable cost.
Dental Implant FAQs
Are your missing teeth making it hard for you to enjoy everyday activities like smiling, talking, and eating? If so, chances are you could benefit from dental implants. Before you begin the procedure, we’ll be sure to answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, we invite you to read through this list of the answers to some frequently asked questions about dental implants.
Why Are Dental Implants Better Than Traditional Bridges?
Without the teeth roots to support them, the jaw and gums tend to weaken and recede. While a traditional bridge might look great, it does very little to stop this process, and it often can’t prevent additional tooth loss as well! Dental implants have all of the aesthetic benefits of traditional restorations with the added advantage of being a clinical solution because they restore this essential support. When it comes to health, looks, and durability, dental implants are by far the best way to replace missing teeth.
How Long Does It Take to Get Dental Implants?
This can vary greatly from person to person. Many people can complete the entire process in less than 6 months, while more complicated cases can often take over a year. Dr. Cofer will be able to map out your particular treatment plan at your first appointment so you can get a better idea of your particular timeline.
How Long Does a Dental Implant Last?
Dental implants can easily last for 30 years or more with the proper maintenance. They just need to be taken care of like your natural teeth. With daily brushing, flossing, and regular checkups and cleanings at Premier Family Dental, your dental implants should look and feel like new for many years to come.
How Does the Cost of Dental Implants Compare to Other Options?
Dental implants might seem to be more expensive than other restorative procedures, but they are actually extremely cost-effective over the long term. Traditional bridges and dentures typically have to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, while dental implants can easily last over 30. This means that for many, dental implants are a one-time cost with decades of consistent benefits. Also, many insurance plans provide excellent coverage for dental implants, and we also accept payment plans through CareCredit and Compassionate Finance if you need low-to-no interest financing. All in all, when it comes to cost versus outcome, dental implants are one of the best deals in not just dentistry, but all of healthcare.