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Dental Implants – Rancho Bernardo, CA

The Gold Standard for Tooth Replacement

Do you find yourself struggling to adjust to a new dental bridge or denture? Want to avoid these tooth replacement options entirely for something not just more reliable, but enjoyable to live with? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you may find dental implants to be a tooth replacement option that better suits your needs. You can have your dental implants at the Rancho Bernardo dental office Nelson Y. Howard, D.D.S placed and restored, making your smile transformation even more convenient. Give us a call to get started!

Actual patient sharing healthy smile after dental implant tooth replacement

Why Choose Nelson Y. Howard, D.D.S. for Dental Implants?

What are Dental Implants?

Dentist holding model of dental implant in Rancho Bernardo

A dental implant specifically refers to the titanium post that integrates with your existing bone and soft tissue. However, many people include the abutment and restoration when they talk about dental implants as well. The implant is designed to mimic your natural tooth root almost entirely in terms of form and function, meaning you can eat the foods you want, maintain your facial appearance, and have confidence in your smile.

The Dental Implant Process

Implant dentist in Rancho Bernardo showing patient an X-ray

Our office will need to perform a detailed consultation of your existing smile to confirm how many teeth are missing and which teeth need to be replaced. After X-rays and other necessary steps are taken (such as bone grafts, gum therapy, etc.) if applicable, we’ll schedule you for dental implant surgery. During this appointment, the implants are placed directly into the jaw and the gum tissue is sealed so they can have time to heal. This integration process (known as osseointegration) occurs over the next four to six months. After the healing period, the gum tissue is reopened so an abutment can be placed. When the gum tissue has healed a few weeks later, your crown, bridge, or denture is attached to complete your smile.

Benefits of Dental Implants

actual patient with dental implants in Ranch Bernardo smiling

Compared to other tooth replacements, the benefits of dental implants in Rancho Bernardo are truly unmatched. Thanks to osseointegration – the process by which the implants fuse to the jawbone – dental implants provide a reliable foundation for your new crown, bridge, or denture. They’re able to improve virtually every aspect of your life, from easy oral hygiene to eating your favorite foods to making you look younger. Here are some of the unique advantages that dental implants have over traditional solutions:

Day-to-Day Benefits

woman biting into a red apple

  • Dental bridges and dentures only recreate the top parts of the teeth (the crowns), which makes them less table and more likely to break down after only a few years. Because dental implants also bring back the tooth’s root structure, they remain secured in your jaw. You won’t have to worry about your teeth slipping around like you would with dentures alone!
  • While denture-wearers often have to limit their diet, dental implants in Rancho Bernardo allow you to tear into crunchy, chewy, and tough foods with the same ease as real teeth.
  • You won’t have to spend time and money on specialized cleaning solutions for dentures; you can brush and floss dental implants as if they were your natural teeth. Not only does this save you time in your morning and bedtime routines, but you may feel like you never even lost any teeth at all!

Health Benefits

patient admiring his new smile with dental implants in Rancho Bernardo

  • No other tooth loss solution stimulates the jawbone in the way that dental implants do. This treatment is able to prevent the bone deterioration that typically occurs after teeth go missing. As a result, you’ll maintain a strong biting force and reduce your risk of further tooth loss.
  • Because you can eat practically all of the foods that you want, maintaining a balanced diet should be a breeze. People with dentures are often lacking in the nutrients found in crunchy fruits and vegetables, but dental implants have no trouble breaking down these foods. This makes it easier to get the nutrients you need and keep your whole body healthy.
  • If your dentist were to place a dental bridge, they’d have to permanently remove some enamel from the remaining teeth on either end of the gap, leaving them weaker and more sensitive. Dentures often rub up against the gums and cause sores, especially if they don’t fit well. Dental implants eliminate both of these problems since they can support themselves while being firmly anchored in place.

Long-Term Benefits

man in a blue polo shirt standing in front of trees

  • In most cases, your implant dentist in Rancho Bernardo will complete your smile with restorations made of 100% porcelain. Due to porcelain’s lifelike qualities, you’ll be able to smile confidently for years to come with the knowledge that only you and our team know which teeth are real!
  • As long as you take good care of your dental implants with good oral hygiene and routine checkups, they can last for 30 years or even longer. While they cost more up-front than bridges and dentures, their longevity makes them a smarter long-term investment. After all, you won’t need to pay for frequent repairs and replacements.
  • Believe it or not, dental implants can make you look younger! They do this by encouraging new bone growth in the jaw, preventing the facial collapse (including wrinkles and a sunken appearance) that occurs over time after teeth are lost.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

actual patient with dental implants in Ranch Bernardo smiling

Dental implants are also known for their high level of versatility, meaning they can be used for all levels of tooth loss. Best of all, dental implants can be used to replace as few as one tooth and as many as all of your teeth (one, or both arches). A lifelike solution that mimics how your natural teeth look, feel, and function — dental implants truly are the gold standard in tooth replacement. The best part about these permanent prosthetics is that almost any adult suffering from tooth loss can receive them! Even if problems exist during your initial consultation, your dental implant dentist in Rancho Bernardo, Dr. Howard, can get your smile in better shape for your permanent, future smile.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Woman smiling with dental implants in Rancho Bernardo

There are a few factors Dr. Howard with consider when determining your candidacy for dental implants in Rancho Bernardo, such as:

  • Your oral health and if you are void of any tooth decay or gum disease. If not, you’ll likely need to undergo periodontal therapy or tooth extraction if it’s severe enough.
  • Your overall health and whether you are healthy enough for minor oral surgery.
  • Your jawbone density, as this can determine how supportive your implants will be in holding up your customized restoration. If necessary, you may require a bone graft or mini dental implants.
  • Whether you are committed to maintaining optimal oral health once your implants are firmly in place.

It is during your consultation that you will learn if you require preliminary treatments. Remember, even if you think you’re not eligible for dental implants, Dr. Howard is the only one who can evaluate your smile and recommend the appropriate course of action. If you are unable to receive dental implants right away, we will make sure your smile gets the treatment it needs to enjoy these permanent prosthetics later on.

Depending on your situation and how many teeth are either missing and/or compromised, Dr. Howard can customize a treatment plan specific to your smile goals.

Missing 1 Tooth

Dental implant in Rancho Bernardo on lower arch

Missing a single tooth? Frustrated by the inability to speak, eat, and smile like you once did? With one dental implant placed into the jaw, that is all you need to provide an anchor for your future restoration. This means you won’t need to modify existing tooth enamel just to replace one tooth, which is what typically needs to be done with traditional bridges. Instead, your titanium implant post will mimic the natural tooth root and provide stimulation to your jawbone for maximum support.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Implant bridge in Rancho Bernardo on lower arch

When you’re missing multiple consecutive teeth, a pair of dental implants can be used to anchor a more complex restoration, including a dental bridge. A series of crowns are fused together, then attached to the implants. This is also the case if a partial denture is needed, albeit more dental implants may be placed to ensure a stable foundation.

Missing All Teeth

Four dental implants in Rancho Bernardo and denture

One of the perks of dental implants is that you don’t need to have a dedicated dental implant for each tooth you intend to replace. For example, replacing a full arch of teeth can usually be done with just a handful of dental implants, typically four to six. Once fused with the bone tissue, a full denture is then secured to the top of your implants, creating a fully functional, beautiful aesthetic that offers greater stability and longevity than traditional dentures.

For some patients, too much bone loss has occurred for traditional dental implants to be successfully placed. If we determine this is the case for you, we can recommend mini dental implants instead. Mini dental implants are significantly skinnier than normal dental implants, making it easier for them to integrate with thin bone tissue and still hold your necessary restorations.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

blue piggy bank sitting on top of a set of full dentures

It’s important to note that since your treatment is highly personalized, the cost of dental implants in Rancho Bernardo will likely not be the same for you as it is for any other patient. For example, the number of teeth you need to replace as well as the preparatory treatments needed to complete care will influence your cost dramatically. Even with their higher upfront price, dental implants are still widely considered to be a more cost-effective solution for tooth loss thanks to their function and longevity.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

implant dentist in Rancho Bernardo showing a dental implant to a patient

When you first meet with your implant dentist in Rancho Bernardo, Dr. Howard will closely examine your mouth and jaw. Then, he’ll determine whether you can schedule the implant placement surgery right away or if you need one or more preliminary procedures first. These treatments, which may include bone grafting, gum disease therapy, or tooth extractions, all add to your total costs, but they also increase the chances of your implants being successful in the long term.

Luckily, Dr. Howard has undergone the extensive training required to be able to surgically place dental implants in-house. This makes your treatment more convenient and affordable overall since you won’t have to pay a separate bill to an outside oral surgeon.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

three dental implants with abutments and crowns

How many dental implants do you need? Which materials are your implant posts and abutments made out of? What type of restoration are you getting? These questions will all influence the price of your new smile. All three parts of a dental implant – the post, the abutment, and the restoration – can come from various manufacturers and brands and be made from different materials, some of which are better suited to some patients over others. Dr. Howard will be open about which type he recommends for you, as well as how it will affect your cost of treatment.

Why Dental Implants Are the Most Cost-Effective Tooth Replacement

happy couple standing in their front yard

At first, it may seem hard to believe that dental implants in Rancho Bernardo can save you money in the long run. However, it’s true for many reasons:

  • You won’t need to purchase adhesives to keep your teeth in place like you would with dentures, which can really add up over the years.
  • Similarly, you shouldn’t have to buy specialized cleaning products – the same toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash you used for your natural teeth should be enough.
  • Your prosthetic won’t have to be repaired, adjusted, or replaced every five to seven years like a dental bridge or denture would.
  • Dental implants may decrease the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other systemic health conditions that can be expensive to treat.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

dental insurance form on a blue clipboard

Our office welcomes most dental insurance plans and we’re even in-network with many popular providers, including Aetna, Cigna, and Delta Dental Premier. Insurance doesn’t usually cover the cost of dental implant surgery, but our team can look over your plan to help you make the most of your benefits. In many cases, your insurance may mitigate the cost of other parts of your treatment, such as your restoration or certain preliminary procedures.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

smiling dentist holding a pink piggy bank

In addition to accepting dental insurance and traditional methods of payment, we also work with CareCredit to make dental implants more affordable. For qualified patients, CareCredit lets you break up your treatment costs into monthly chunks, often with very low or even no interest rates! Ask our team how we can help you with the CareCredit application process.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

Diagram showing how a sinus lift works

When teeth are lost, bone tissue begins to resorb back into the body to areas where it’s more needed. This is especially common for older patients pursuing tooth replacement via dental implants. Thankfully, Dr. Howard has the skills and expertise to perform sinus lifts and ridge augmentations. Also known as bone grafting, these treatments are designed to expand the available amount of bone tissue in thinner parts of the mouth, particularly where the upper jawbone sits.

Dental Implant FAQs

Dentist holding dental implants in Rancho Bernardo

Now that you have much more knowledge about dental implants in Rancho Bernardo, you might assume you know everything, right? While this would be reassuring, the truth is you probably still have many questions about these permanent prosthetics. This is why Dr. Howard and his team have compiled some frequently asked questions about dental implants from previous patients. If you do not see yours listed below, make sure to contact our office to schedule an appointment.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants are designed to last 30+ years with proper care and maintenance. However, much of their lifespan depends on how well you take care of them. When meeting with your implant dentist in Rancho Bernardo, you will receive clear instructions as to how you should plan to maintain your new teeth, some of which include:

  • Brushing, flossing, and rinsing daily
  • Keeping your six-month dental checkups and cleanings
  • Avoiding sugary and starchy foods to minimize your risk for gum disease
  • Avoiding the use of tobacco products
  • Never using your teeth as tools to open packages or containers

Are Dental Implants Safe?

Yes, for most patients, dental implants are completely safe. It is necessary, however, that a person has good general oral and overall health and a jawbone that is dense enough to support your new prosthetics. The only way to determine if you are eligible for treatment is to speak with Dr. Howard and our dental team during an initial consultation. If your jawbone is inadequate, it will be necessary to perform a bone graft to ensure that your dental implants are successful years from now. If you have an autoimmune disorder or another medical condition, it may be wise to discuss other potential forms of treatment.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Upon initial placement, most patients experience a 95% success rate, especially when placed by a skilled professional. But again, the success of your implants is largely dependent upon your willingness to take care of them appropriately. You might also discuss with your dentist the chances of success depending on the location of your implants. Those located in the back of the mouth (the molars) may be more likely to fail simply because of the continuous stress they are under as a result of daily chewing and eating.

Am I Too Old to Get Dental Implants?

Once you are in your mid-late 20s, there is no age cap for dental implants. No matter if you’re 65 or 95, dental implants can be an ideal solution for tooth loss, but you should be aware that the older you are, the more likely you are to experience different health problems that can potentially complicate the dental implant process. This is a discussion you can have with Dr. Howard to determine your eligibility and if dental implants are right for you.

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