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Dental Implants — Lincoln, NE

Close the Gaps in Your Smile for Good

Group of older friends outdoors

Over the past two decades, dental implants have quickly become the gold standard of tooth replacement. Why? Because they are the only treatment that can restore an entire tooth from root to crown, creating something that is the next best thing to nature. Today at South Ridge Dental, patients with incomplete smiles can benefit from this state-of-the-art treatment, no matter how many teeth they might be missing. To learn more about implants and how they can help you reclaim both your bite and your confidence for decades to come, contact us today.

Why Choose South Ridge Dental For Dental Implants?

What Are Dental Implants?

Diagram showing different parts of dental implants in Lincoln

Dental implants are unlike any other treatment for missing teeth because they recreate the entire tooth structure, including the root. They are composed of three components: a titanium implant post, an abutment, and a dental restoration. This provides a nearly identical replica of your natural tooth. You’ll need to undergo a multi-phased treatment process; however, you’ll enjoy a solution that’s proven to last for a lifetime with the right aftercare.

4 Step Dental Implant Process

Confident man smiles with dental implants in Lincoln

Dental implants are a revolutionary treatment because they are the only tooth loss solution that recreates the root and the crown. To treat the entire tooth structure, you’ll need to undergo a multi-phased treatment process that can take several months to complete. Here’s how dental implants work in Lincoln, and what you can expect while on your journey to a complete smile.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Dentist explaining how dental implants work in Lincoln

Most patients who have good oral and general health are candidates for dental implants, but you’ll still need a thorough consultation to ensure they are the right choice for you. Besides discussing your oral and medical history, we’ll also need to review a CT scan of your mouth to look for any issues hidden below the surface. Depending on the results of your examination, you might need additional treatments before your implant placement surgery, like periodontal therapy, bone grafting, or a sinus lift.

Dental Implant Surgery

Diagram of dental implant surgery in Lincoln

In order for a patient to get dental implants, the new tooth roots must be surgically placed into the jawbone. To ensure that our patients only receive the highest quality care, we have partnered with a network of local oral surgeons and periodontists to perform this part of the procedure. Each one has been hand-selected by our dentists based on their extensive experience and skill. After a patient has healed from placement, they’ll return to South Ridge Dental to receive their new permanent restorations.

After you’ve healed from any previous treatments, you’re scheduled for your implant placement surgery. Sedation or anesthesia is used to ensure your comfort as your gum tissue is opened to access your jaw. Small holes are drilled into pre-determined locations in your bone. The titanium posts are inserted into the holes, and your gum tissue is stitched closed.

Dental Implant Osseointegration/Abutment

Model of dental implants in Lincoln

You’ll spend the next few weeks healing, allowing your jaw to fuse to the posts through a process called osseointegration. This provides a stable foundation for your restoration while also allowing the dental implants to remain in place forever with the right care, like maintaining your oral hygiene.

Once your bone has healed, you’ll need a second minor surgery to place abutments onto your posts. These are special fixtures to connect your restoration to your implants. During the procedure, your gum tissue is opened to expose the head of the posts. The abutments are affixed to the posts, and your gum tissue will heal around them over the next 2 weeks.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

Woman admiring her new dental implants in Lincoln

While you’re recovering from your abutment procedure, the dental lab is hard at work creating your new teeth from durable material. They are carefully crafted to match the color, size, and shape of your natural teeth for flawless results. You can smile with confidence because no one will know they aren’t your real teeth. You can also chew your favorite foods comfortably because your restorations are made of high-quality material.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Young man admiring his new dental implants in Lincoln

Dental implants are rooted into the jawbone using small titanium posts that support the new teeth. No other treatment can do this, which is why implants offer benefits that you won’t get with dentures or bridges alone. More than 500,000 implants are placed every year, and people who have lost teeth are finding out why this treatment is growing in popularity. Simply put—this modern solution changes lives for the better!

Day-to-Day Benefits

Although you can’t see the post’s root structure, implants are topped with 100% porcelain restorations, which means dental implants are extremely natural-looking and are a seamless addition to any smile. Because you don’t have to worry about the implants shifting whenever you eat or speak, you can go throughout your day without thinking about your teeth slipping. Plus, implants only require consistent brushing, flossing, and dental visits to stay like new—you basically take care of them just like your natural teeth!

Health Benefits

Their realistic, tooth-like structure makes dental implants not only extremely stable but also beneficial for your oral and overall well-being. They stimulate the jawbone and prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs after a tooth root is lost. As a result, the remaining teeth get added support and the jaw bone stays strong even with age. With a strong bite, implant patients are also able to maintain a more nutritious diet and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Long-Term Benefits

Thanks to high-quality materials and our skilled team, implants can easily last for 30 years or more. And, with consistent maintenance, a patient can often rely on their implants for life. With traditional bridges or dentures, you’d need to substitute your replacement teeth every few years. Over time, these costs really add up! When you factor everything in, dental implants often prove to be a wiser financial choice in the long run.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Laughing couple with dental implants in Lincoln

Whether you’re missing one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch, dental implants can help! Dental implants can address any type of tooth loss and are a great choice for almost any patient with missing teeth. Based on your particular situation, our team can put together the perfect treatment plan to help you reclaim your smile.

Missing 1 Tooth

A single dental implant crown can be placed between two healthy teeth without disturbing them at all. Unlike with a traditional bridge, the surrounding teeth won’t need to be filed down, better preserving a patient’s natural smile.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Multiple implant crowns can be placed throughout the mouth, or for a patient with consecutive missing teeth, just two implant roots can be used to support a bridge that holds up to 4 teeth.

Missing All Teeth

For patients with several missing teeth, a full or partial denture can be attached directly to the jawbone using just 4-6 implants. This makes the prosthetic much more secure compared to a traditional one, and patients can look forward to the initial fit lasting for many years as well.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

understanding the cost of dental implants in Lincoln on black background

Because dental implants are able to help patients with varying degrees of tooth loss, the cost of the procedure can be quite different from person to person. The number of implants used, what kind of restoration they’re supporting, and where the missing teeth are located in the mouth can all influence the final price (it typically costs more to replace front teeth versus back teeth due to less available bone structure and potential aesthetic concerns).

While implant restorations do tend to cost more upfront than other traditional options, their longevity means that patients actually save money in the long run. Regular bridges and dentures typically need to be completely replaced every 5-7 years, compounding their lower cost, while implants can easily last for 30 or more. Because of this, implant patients end up saving thousands on maintenance and retreatment, not to mention the untold time spent in the dental chair!

Types of Dental Implants

Diagram of implant dentures in Lincoln

The first variable that will influence your cost is the type of implants you’ll need. A single implant post restored with a dental crown costs less than getting two posts to support a bridge and much less than receiving multiple implants to secure a full denture. Generally, the more teeth you need to replace, the higher your cost will be. You may also need to pay more if you require preparatory work before implant placement, such as tooth extractions, gum disease therapy, or bone grafting.

The Stages of Dental Implant Treatment

Lincoln implant dentist and patient discuss cost of dental implants in Lincoln

Getting dental implants is a multistep procedure that spans several months. Each stage will incur its own cost, so you won’t have to pay for your entire treatment all at once. During your initial consultation, we’ll walk you through your entire treatment plan step-by-step and break down the associated costs. Typically, you can expect to pay for:

  • Preliminary treatments
  • Dental implant surgery
  • Anesthesia or sedation during implant placement
  • Final restoration

Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?

Lincoln implant dentist holding piggy bank

Although dental implants may seem expensive at first, they are a worthwhile investment. Unlike traditional dentures, they won’t slip around or restrict your diet. They’re also the only tooth replacement option that prevents jawbone loss.

It’s also important to consider their longevity. Conventional bridges and dentures must be replaced every 5 to 15 years. By contrast, implants can last for decades or even a lifetime, which saves you time and money you’d normally spend repairing or replacing your false teeth. Overall, most patients who have received dental implants in Lincoln have claimed they are worth every penny.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

dentist explaining advanced dental implant procedures in Lincoln

Not every dental insurance carrier will pay for implants; you’ll have to check with your individual policy. Even if your plan doesn’t cover the implant surgery itself, it may mitigate the cost of other parts of the treatment, such as the restoration.

Our office is in-network with many popular dental insurance carriers. If you’re uninsured, ask us about our in-house membership plan, which nets you discounts on a variety of treatments for a low, flat annual fee. We can also help you apply for a low-to-no interest loan through the third-party financing company CareCredit.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

In some cases, a patient may not be able to receive dental implants right away due to jawbone loss. This is common for people who have lost teeth because of gum disease, or who have been without teeth for several years. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you can never get dental implants. Bone grafting or a sinus lift can help create the strong foundation your new smile will need to last a lifetime. We can determine whether these procedures are necessary during your consultation.

Bone Grafting

X-ray after bone grafting in Lincoln

Because of a process called osseointegration, dental implants have a success rate of more than 95 percent. Osseointegration occurs over the course of several months after the posts have been surgically placed in your jawbone. The implants act as your tooth roots, fusing with the jawbone and promoting new bone growth.

Unfortunately, if your jawbone has lost density, it won’t be able to accommodate the implants. Bone grafting in Lincoln increases the jawbone’s thickness with a surgical procedure.

A small section of bone (which could be artificial bone material or taken from a donor or elsewhere on your body) is grafted onto the area that will receive the implants. Over the next few months, the graft will integrate with your natural bone, creating the powerful base that your implants need to thrive.

Sinus Lifts

Diagram of sinus lift in Lincoln

If you’ve experienced bone loss in your upper jaw, there may not be enough room to place dental implants without them protruding into your maxillary sinuses. Also known as a sinus augmentation, a sinus lift in Lincoln adds bone to the jawbone toward the back of the mouth.

Your gum tissue is opened to allow us to cut a small oval into your upper jawbone. We gently lift your sinus membrane and place a graft material into the hole. Your gum tissue is then closed, and you can begin the healing process.

Dental Implant FAQs

FAQ blocks representing common dental implant FAQs in Lincoln

Do you want to know more about dental implants in Lincoln? At South Ridge Dental, we understand that replacing missing teeth is a big decision. That is why our expert staff has collected some of the most common questions we hear from patients about implants and answered them below. We hope you find this FAQ section helpful as you consider which tooth replacement solution is best for you.

If you do not see your specific question addressed below or feel ready to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Ryan or Dr. Steven Shaffer, do not hesitate to give our office a call!

What Happens If I Don’t Replace a Missing Tooth?

If your missing teeth are not very noticeable, it can be tempting to just ignore the gaps in your smile and not seek a replacement. However, missing even just a single tooth can negatively impact your oral and overall health in the long run. Here are a few examples:

  • Dental Drift– Although teeth seem securely set in place, they can actually drift slowly into the space left by a missing tooth. Shifting teeth can lead to bite problems and make it harder to properly clean your teeth.
  • Sunken Face– Tooth roots help stimulate the jawbone. When teeth go missing, the jawbone often begins to shrink due to the lack of stimulation. Without a full jawbone, a person’s face may appear sunken and aged.
  • Poor Nutrition– Without front teeth, you may find it harder to break off bites of fruits and vegetables. Missing molars, meanwhile, can make it more difficult to grind up tough foods like meat.

Can Dental Implants Fail?

First, you should know that implant failure is incredibly rare. In fact, according to research published in the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, dental implants have a success rate of up to 95%!

Although uncommon, various factors can contribute to implant failure, such as tobacco use, diabetes or low jawbone density. In addition, gum disease and other oral infections can also interfere with the implant healing process. For this reason, it is very important that you diligently brush and floss on a daily basis both before and after oral implant surgery.

How Are Dental Implants Cared for?

One of the greatest benefits of dental implants is their longevity. With proper care, dental implants can easily last for decades – or even the rest of your life! You can help ensure that your implants remain part of your smile for as long as possible by following these 3 simple tips:

  • Brush your natural teeth and implants twice a day for a full two minutes each time
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Visit an implant dentist in Lincoln twice a year for a routine dental exam and professional cleaning

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

Are you tired of looking in the mirror and feeling unhappy about the smile you see? Then you are likely a good candidate for dental implants! Excellent candidates must have the following:

  • Healthy gums
  • Adequate jawbone thickness
  • Excellent oral hygiene habits

Even you have gum disease or a weak jawbone, dental implants may still be available to you after preliminary treatments. Dr. Ryan or Dr. Steven Shaffer may first recommend gum disease therapy or a bone graft before approving dental implant treatment.

Dental Implant Aftercare

dentist pointing to model of dental implants in Lincoln

Traditional tooth replacement options like dentures and dental bridges can replace missing teeth quickly, but they don’t last forever. After about 10-15 years, they begin to lose their fit, become uncomfortable, and need to be replaced. Thankfully, at South Ridge Dental, we offer state-of-the-art dental implants that can replace your missing teeth for decades. In fact, they can last a lifetime with the proper care. Read on as we share a few of the best tips about dental implant care in Lincoln to keep your newly rebuilt smile for life.  

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Man closing to care for dental implants in Lincoln

Dental implants in Lincoln aren’t vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities like natural teeth are. However, that doesn’t mean you can slack off on your oral hygiene! If plaque and bacteria are allowed to build up around your dental implant, they could infect the nearby gums. This condition is known as gum disease, and when left untreated, it can destroy the supportive tissues that help hold your dental implant in place. Keep all your pearly whites firmly in place by practicing great dental habits like:

  • Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day.
  • Flossing between all your teeth daily.
  • Rinsing with mouthwash regularly.

Protect Your Dental Implants

Mouthguards that can protect dental implants in Lincoln

Thanks to their unique placement in the jawbone, dental implants boast an incredibly strong foundation. You should never feel them slip or shift as you go about your day. However, a sudden blow to the face could potentially dislodge your dental implant and constant extra pressure could loosen it. Keep your new smile strong by:

  • Wearing a sports mouthguard when playing sports like football, basketball, or soccer.
  • Refraining from chewing on hard objects like pen caps, ice, or your fingernails.
  • Talking to your dentist about getting a custom nightguard if you grind your teeth at night.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Calendar reminder to visit Lincoln implant dentist

Even if you’ve replaced all your natural teeth with an implant-retained denture, you should still come see your Lincoln implant dentist twice a year for regular dental checkups and cleanings. These quick and simple visits allow us to keep an eye on the condition of your dental implant and your remaining teeth so we can spot and stop any issues as early as possible. In fact, the goal of your biannual checkups is to keep your mouth healthy and prevent any issues from developing in the first place!

With a few healthy habits, your dental implants could easily last you a lifetime. If you’d like to learn more about this life-changing treatment or have more questions about caring for your newly rebuilt smile, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

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