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Dental Implants — Lincoln, NE

Close the Gaps in Your Smile for Good

Group of older friends smiling after tooth replacement with dental implants

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, dentistry 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 dental implants from our Lincoln, NE dentist and find out 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.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Man at a dental implant consultation

One of the best aspects of dental implants is their versatility. Just about any healthy adult who wishes to replace their missing teeth can take advantage of this life-changing treatment. To make sure you’re a good candidate, your dental implant dentist in Lincoln will typically look for three things during your consultation:

  • Excellent oral health – Oral health issues like gum disease and cavities may prevent your dental implant treatment from being successful, so we’ll need to address these problems beforehand.
  • Adequate general health – Ideally, patients should not have any medical conditions that could complicate dental implant surgery.
  • Ample jawbone density – Because dental implants must fuse with the jaw, patients should have enough jawbone density to support the posts.

Note that even if you don’t meet all of these qualifications right now, that doesn’t mean dental implants are out of reach! In most cases, you might simply have to undergo some preparatory treatments (such as bone grafting to strengthen a jawbone that has weakened after tooth loss) to get your mouth ready to accommodate dental implants in Lincoln.

Once you’re ready to move forward with the dental implant process, our dentists can develop a custom treatment plan based on the number of teeth you’re missing:

Missing One Tooth

Animated smile during dental implant supported dental crown placement

A single dental implant that is restored with a lifelike crown can fill an empty space between two healthy teeth without disturbing them at all. Unlike with a traditional dental bridge, the surrounding teeth won’t need to be filed down for support. As a result, your natural tooth structure will be better preserved and less susceptible to sensitivity and damage.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Animated smile during dental implant supported dental bridge placement

If you’re missing multiple teeth in a row, dental implants can support a bridge. By placing an implant post at each end of the gap, we don’t have to alter the structure of your remaining teeth to restore your smile and chewing ability. To bring back several missing teeth that are not consecutive, a small number of dental implants can support a partial denture that seamlessly blends in with the rest of your smile.

Missing All Teeth

Animated smile during dental implant supported denture placement

For patients who have lost all of their teeth, a full denture can be attached directly to the jawbone using an average of just four to eight implants. This makes the prosthetic much more secure compared to a traditional one, and it enables you to chew more easily. Additionally, implant dentures are able to last for several decades, compared to the normal denture lifespan of five to seven years.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

A digital image of three different dental implants lying on a table

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!

To learn more about the cost of dental implants in Lincoln, review the following information and feel free to contact us with additional questions.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Animated smile dental implant supported denture

The first step in the process is to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our South Ridge Dental team who will go over your eligibility for treatment. If signs of tooth decay, gum disease, or infection are present, preliminary treatments will be necessary before receiving your dental implants in Lincoln. Whether it is bone grafting, tooth extraction, or periodontal therapy, these additional procedures will be incorporated into the total cost.

Also, your dental implant surgery will be a component of your cost estimate. Because we partner with the best local oral surgeons in the area, you will be expected to pay two separate fees. The first will be to the implant dentist in Lincoln who places your permanent prosthetics and the second will be to our dental office for your customized restoration.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

Dentist and dental patient discussing the parts of a dental implant restoration

Every dental implant is different. Its size, material, brand, and even placement location can cause your total expenses to be higher or lower. It is necessary to determine how many implants will be required, as this will also determine the type of restoration you will receive. Once we identify where along the arch they will be placed, you may need a shorter or longer dental implant – a factor that also plays a role in your cost.

We must also consider whether you will receive titanium or zirconia dental implants because each has a different price tag associated with it. The same can be said for the brand and manufacturer, as there are many different options available. If this all sounds a bit overwhelming, remember that during your initial consultation, our team will go over all the important details, ensuring you know why it’s best to choose high-quality materials over cheaper, less reliable solutions.

How Dental Implants Can Save You Money

An older woman holds an apple while smiling after receiving her dental implants

Do you like the idea of not paying for dental adhesive? Prefer to avoid buying specialized cleaning supplies to maintain your new prosthetics? Want to enjoy a smile that can last a lifetime instead of visiting your implant dentist every 5-7 years for an adjustment or replacement? If so, you’ll want to choose dental implants to replace your missing teeth.

While the upfront costs are much more expensive than traditional bridges or dentures, you will save much more in the long run. Not to mention, you’ll also keep more money in your pocket when it comes to taking care of your overall health. How? Tooth loss is closely associated with lifespan, so when you opt to replace your missing teeth with dental implants, you lower your risk for systemic issues that can not only shorter your life but also cost thousands of dollars or more to treat.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Smiling dentist holding a piggy bank

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 or preliminary treatments. Our dental office is in-network with many popular dental insurance carriers, and our team will be happy to work on your behalf to help you get the answers you need. We’ll even file the necessary paperwork and claims to ensure a more stress-free experience.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Dental insurance forms

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. No matter which method you choose, you can trust that your dental implant treatment will be much more affordable, allowing you to stay within your budget while working toward a healthier, more beautiful smile.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

Dentist and dental patient discussing 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 of smile 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 Failure & Salvage

Woman with mouth pain, talking to dentist

Dental implants are a consistently successful treatment; in fact, they thrive in more than 95% of cases, and they have the potential to endure for a lifetime. Of course, that still leaves a small possibility for serious problems. In rare cases, issues arise that cause dental implant failure. If you ever believe that something is amiss with your new teeth, contact us right away. We will evaluate the situation and recommend your next steps. Hopefully, it will be possible to correct matters before extensive intervention becomes necessary.

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 flossing 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!

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Woman flossing to maintain her 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 to 15 years at most, they begin to break down and need to be replaced. In contrast, dental implants can give you a complete smile that lasts for decades – maybe even a lifetime with the proper care! Better yet, dental implant maintenance is much simpler than that of bridges and dentures. Here are a few of the best tips for dental implant care in Lincoln to keep your newly rebuilt smile in pristine condition for life.  

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Person putting toothpaste onto an electric toothbrush

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 cause gum disease. When left untreated, gum disease can destroy the supportive tissues that help hold your dental implant in place. Keep all of your pearly whites firmly in place by practicing great dental habits like:

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

Eat a Healthy Diet

Senior man and woman holding baskets of fruits and vegetables

Poor oral hygiene isn’t the only thing that can cause dental implant failure. You’ll also need to watch what you eat; too much sugar or starch can increase the risk of gum disease and decay in your remaining teeth. Make sure to incorporate plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet to encourage your gums and jawbone to stay healthy.

Break Bad Habits

Woman nervously chewing on her fingernails

Munching on ice, chewing on pens or pencils, and biting your fingernails are all habits that could be disastrous for your dental implants. You could not only chip your restoration, but damage the implant post itself. In the same vein, you should also refrain from opening a package or a bottle with your teeth; one little slip could result in a serious oral injury.

Protect Your Dental Implants

Person holding a blue mouthguard in their hand

As sturdy and strong as dental implants are, they could become loosened by chronic excessive pressure or dislodged by a sudden blow to the face. For that reason, talk to a member of our team about a custom nightguard if you grind your teeth at night or a mouthguard if you play contact sports.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

The date of a dental appointment circled on a calendar

Even if you’ve replaced all of your natural teeth with an implant denture, you should still come see your implant dentist in Lincoln 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 implants 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!

Dental Implant Frequently Asked Questions

F A Q blocks representing common dental implant questions 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 dental 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.

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