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Dental Implants – McAllen, TX

When You Need the Most
Comprehensive Solution

While traditional dental bridges and dentures have been ideal for replacing teeth for a very long time, they only solve one half of the problem that is tooth loss. Since they only sit on top of teeth, they don’t do anything to address the underlying bone structures of your mouth and jaw, which means that they only continue to atrophy. Dental implants in McAllen, TX are the only treatment that effectively addresses these problems head-on. Schedule an appointment or request a consultation to see if you are a candidate for dental implants!

Request a Dental Implant Consultation!

Man sharing smile after tooth replacement with dental implants

Why Choose Tijerina Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for Dental Implants?

What is a Dental Implant?

Animated smile with implant supported replacement tooth

Dental implants are small titanium posts that are placed directly into the jaw so they can integrate with existing bone and soft tissue. In some cases, an abutment is placed inside of the post so that it can provide stable foundation for the eventual restoration that will go on top. Prior to the restoration placement, the implant needs to heal over a period of about four to six months. You can easily replace single or multiple teeth in this way.

Benefits of Dental Implants

3D rendering of implant supported dental crown

One of the most notable benefits of dental implants is their ability to mimic tooth roots almost exactly. This makes the implant truly feel like a natural tooth through and through, despite it being made from titanium and porcelain materials. Since the implant undergoes a process known as “osseointegration”, which is a process where the post physically integrates with your jaw bone, you can expect your tooth replacement to last well over 30 years.

Furthermore, dental implant treatment has success rates as high as 98 percent on average, so you can feel confident about your upcoming treatment. Since the implant becomes truly part of your smile, blood flow will continue to occur to the cheeks and face, ensuring the best esthetics not just for your teeth, but your overall facial structure as well. Plus, the implant does all of the heavy lifting, which means you won’t have to make modifications to existing teeth just to replace your missing ones!

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Man with missing tooth looking at porcelain shade option

If you are missing one tooth, multiple teeth, or all the teeth in your smile, you can get them replaced with dental implants. Check out how Dr. Tijerina and his team get it done below!

Animated implant supported dental crown placement

Missing Single Tooth

A single implant post is placed inside of the jaw, the gum tissue is stitched shut, and the implant is given several months to heal. If we determine that an abutment is necessary, we’ll place it directly into the implant post and give it an additional few weeks to heal with your gum tissue. Finally, a porcelain crown is placed on top thanks to its esthetics and durability.

Animated implant supported fixed bridge placement

Missing Multiple Teeth

In most cases, a pair of dental implants can be used to hold a customized dental bridge. Whether it has three or four crowns total and you need to replace just as many teeth, you likely won’t need three or four implants to get it done. Not only that, but you won’t have to remove existing enamel to place it since the implants manage all of the heavy-lifting.

Animated implant supported denture placement

Missing All Teeth

By taking full advantage of your healthy bone tissue, we can replace an entire arch of teeth by placing four to six implants strategically throughout the jaw. Then, we can place the restoration on top, whether it’s a full or partial denture for the top or bottom arch! We also offer Teeth in a Day, a treatment that lets you leave the dental office with a new smile the same day as your implant surgery!

Learn More About Implant Dentures

The 4 Step Dental Implant Process

A dentist showing a female patient a mouth mold that contains dental implants and explaining how they work

When you visit Dr. Tijerina for dental implants, you can have the entire process completed right here in our dental office. Since there are two major steps in implant placement, including the surgical placement and the addition of an abutment and crown, most cases will require multiple visits to complete. Furthermore, the length of your treatment will vary depending on how complex your oral health needs are. For example, a single tooth implant will always be easier and quicker to complete compared to a 3-unit bridge.

To learn how dental implants work in McAllen, we’ve broken down the process below:

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

A dentist shows a male patient his new teeth during a visit

The decision to pursue dental implants begins with a consultation. Meeting with Dr. Tijerina, he will discuss your eligibility by examining your smile. Using a CBCT Scanner that captures a 360-degree scan of your oral cavity and facial structure, he can determine if you have enough jawbone strength to properly support your implants and customized restoration. If so, he will use the images to formulate a personalized treatment plan that is designed to map out the placement of your implants accurately and precisely for the day of your surgery.

Also, he will discuss any preliminary treatments you might need based on the current status of your oral health. These procedures can include periodontal therapy, tooth extraction, or even a bone graft.

Dental Implant Surgery

An up-close look at a dental implant sitting in the lower arch of the mouth

One of the greatest aspects of having dental implants put into place is that you will remain in the same location because Dr. Tijerina provides start-to-finish treatment! On the day of your surgery, your implant dentist in McAllen will administer local anesthesia to numb the areas of your mouth and ensure you feel no pain throughout the procedure. If necessary, you may also be eligible to receive sedation dentistry to calm any nerves and reduce anxiety.

Once you are comfortable, Dr. Tijerina will make one or more small incisions in the appropriate areas of your gums before inserting each implant and carefully angling it to ensure maximum support. After closing the gum tissue around the implant, you will be instructed to go home and start the recovery process.

Dental Implant Osseointegration/Abutment

A single tooth dental implant that shows each working part

While at home recovering, the process of osseointegration must occur. This involves the dental implants in McAllen fusing with the jawbone and surrounding tissues. Because this is a pivotal part of the process, you will need to follow any instructions provided to you by our team to ensure your 4–6-month recovery is a success.

Once you are fully healed, you will return to our office to have a metal abutment put into place. If you have multiple implants, you will receive an abutment for each implant. Dr. Tijerina will place each one on top of the implants before sending you back home to heal and allow the abutments and tissues to come together.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

A digital image of a dental implant and the customized crown going on over the abutment and implant

The final step of the dental implant placement process is receiving your customized restoration. Because dental implants are so versatile, you can be fitted for an implant crown, bridge, or denture. It doesn’t matter how many teeth are missing, Dr. Tijerina and our team will ensure the lab technicians create a restoration that blends in beautifully with the rest of your smile and functions just like your regular teeth. Once everything is in place, you’ll be able to start enjoying your new smile immediately.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Model of implant supported dental crown

Although dental implants have been around for quite some time, they were not the “go-to” tooth replacement for most dentists and patients until recently. Now, they are considered the superior and preferred option for those with missing teeth. And while this tooth-replacement solution is known for having a higher upfront cost, few are aware of the factors that play a role in the final price. With this in mind, keep reading to learn what to expect!

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

An older couple smiling and standing in their kitchen after discussing the cost of dental implants in McAllen

From the initial consultation and the surgical procedure to the actual placement of your custom restoration, each stage of the dental implant process incurs a fee. Plus, any preliminary treatments, like gum disease therapy, or added costs, like anesthesia during your surgery, also need to be considered. Fortunately, we will cover each step in-depth during your initial consultation so you can have an estimate upfront. Plus, our team handles the implant placement in-house, ensuring your fees are more compact.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

A cross-sectional mouth mold that contains a single dental implant between two healthy teeth

When determining the final cost of rebuilding your smile with dental implants, the materials you choose play a critical role. From the post to the crown, it is important to consider the manufacturer and substance being used. Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist about the specific brand they use, why they use it, and why it is the best fit for you. After all, you want your new and improved smile to last for a lifetime!

Final Dental Implant Restoration

A dentist holds a dental implant to show a female patient how it works and why it’s a superior tooth replacement solution

One of the most influential factors in the final cost is how many dental implants you will need. For example, a patient looking to replace a single missing tooth with a titanium implant, metal abutment, and dental crown will pay significantly less than someone looking to replace an entire arch of teeth with implant dentures. Since this extensive restoration requires 4-6 dental implants as well as a custom-made denture, this type is the most expensive.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

A young woman smiling while lying back in the dentist’s chair

Since most dental insurance companies classify dental implants as a cosmetic procedure, they aren’t typically covered. With that being said, it is always a good idea to double-check! Even if the entire procedure isn’t covered, portions of it, like the preliminary treatments and dental crowns, may be. To make the process as stress-free as possible, our team would be more than happy to review the details of your plan, file the claims on your behalf, and maximize your benefits. We will also provide you with an estimate upfront to ensure there are no surprises along the way.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

A female patient talks with a front desk receptionist about the available payment plans

If you don’t have a dental plan or your provider doesn’t cover dental implants, don’t fret! There are other ways to still receive the smile you want at a price you can afford. By partnering with CareCredit, a third-party financer, you can enroll in a low-to-no interest payment plan to help you stay within your budget. That way, you can rebuild your smile from root to crown without breaking the bank!

CBCT Technology Aids Precise Treatment Planning

Patient being prepare for CBCT scan in dental office

Placing dental implants in exactly the right position is essential for ensuring the treatment’s long-term success. That is why Dr. Tijerina has invested in a CBCT machine, also called a cone beam scanner. The machine uses advanced imaging technology to provide your dentist with a detailed, three-dimensional view of your jawbone, the roots of your remaining natural teeth, your nerves, and your connective tissues. Armed with this information, he is able to plan your implant procedure in the best way possible.

Dental Implants Post-Op Instructions

Smiling woman with implants resting on her couch

You may be nervous about what happens after dental implant surgery, but as long as you follow our instructions and take care of your mouth in the days that follow, you can expect your smile to heal with little to no problem. Below are some important tips to keep in mind so that you have an idea of what the process will be like and what you can do to help it along. Call us immediately if you suffer from intense pain or any unexpected side effects.

What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

Model of a dental implant about to be inserted in jaw

A blood clot will start to form around the surgical area. It is very important that the clot remains undisturbed, or else healing could be disrupted. Avoid spitting; if you have excess saliva, swallow it or use a tissue. Do not drink through a straw for at least 24 hours following the surgery, and do not smoke during that first day. (It’s usually best for the recovery process if you don’t smoke at all.) Do not touch the surgical site with your finger or your tongue.

Common Side-Effects

Man with glasses rubbing his chin thoughtfully

You may notice some side effects during the first few days of recovery, but it’s generally nothing to worry about. All of the symptoms listed below should slowly fade away as time passes:

  • Bleeding: This may occur off and on for multiple days, but you can stop or reduce it by applying gauze to the area and putting light pressure on it.
  • Swelling: About 3 to 7 days of swelling around the surgical site is considered normal. You can use a cold or warm compress if you need to, but be sure to only apply cold to the area for 20 minutes at a time.
  • Discomfort: Ibuprofen and other store-bought medications can help with any pain you experience.

If the above symptoms do not go away or start to become severe, let us know.

Diet

Milk, fish, and assorted other foods on wooden table

When it comes to what you eat after implant surgery, you should generally be sticking to soft foods that take little to no effort to chew. Different patients will recover at different rates, so you can start taking the steps to return to a normal diet once you feel comfortable doing so (although you should still be careful of particularly tough or crunchy foods, and you should avoid chewing on or near the implant site. Good choices for soft foods include mashed potatoes, yogurt, pudding, pasta, scrambled eggs, ice cream, and soup as long as it isn’t too hot.

Health & Oral Hygiene

You need to be careful around the surgical site(s), but otherwise you can brush and floss like you normally do. To keep the mouth clean and free of bacteria, rinse with salt water 2 or 3 times every day. You can also use prescription mouth rinse, but stay away from Scope, Listerine, or any other alcohol-based mouthwashes.

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

The recovery process after a crown, bridge, or denture is attached is much simpler compared to what you experience after implant surgery. There is typically no swelling or bleeding to worry about, and you’ll be ready to use your new teeth to eat and smile right away. You might experience some sensitivity, but it will generally be mild and easy to manage.

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

Woman checking her smile in a handheld mirror

Dental implants have an extremely high success rate, but their long-term survival largely depends on you and your ability to take care of them. Dental implants that become significantly damaged may need to be replaced, and they’re likely to fail if the tissues around them become infected. If you want your new smile to last the rest of your life, then be sure to take the precautions and follow the health habits listed down below.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

Man flossing his regular teeth and dental implant

Titanium dental implants and ceramic restorations do not get cavities. The tissues around them, however, can still be affected by gum disease. An untreated gum infection can cause implants to fail due to the destruction of the tissue they rely on to stay in place. It’s important to keep taking care of your smile the same way you did before dental implants. That means brushing for two minutes at a time twice daily, flossing on a regular basis, and rinsing with mouthwash.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Older woman outside in the evening looking at an apple

Dental implants let you eat whatever you want, which makes it easy to enjoy plenty of nutritious foods. However, that also means you have to be mindful of foods that could potentially lead to oral healthy issues. Stay away from sugar-filled foods that can encourage the bacteria in your mouth to secrete harmful acids. You should also be wary of anything hard or sticky that might directly damage your implants. To keep your jaw strong and the gums healthy, make sure you’re getting plenty of calcium and vitamin C.

Break Bad Habits

Closeup of woman having opened a bottle with her teeth

Using tobacco products can encourage infection inside your mouth, and it can slow down the healing process; both of these things are bad for implants, so it’s imperative to stop smoking before and after implant placement. Also, to protect your implants from physical damage, you should never chew on hard objects or use your teeth as tools to open packages or the like. We can go over any other habits you might have that could affect your implants.

Protect Your Dental Implants

Your dental implants may be strong, but they can still be damaged by a strong, sudden impact. Make sure you have a mouthguard to wear whenever you play sports. You can also get a mouthguard if you grind your teeth at night; the additional protection will protect the implant (as well as the rest of your teeth) from increased pressure and additional wear and tear. 

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

Even with the best care, you always need to keep an eye on the state of your implants just in case something goes wrong. Of course, some potential issues are so small that you might not notice them on your own, which is why keeping up with regular preventive dental care becomes even more important after implant surgery. During your six-month checkup, we’ll check on your dental implant to make sure that it’s still firmly in place. If we find a problem, we can act as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions - Dental Implants

Many people don’t believe that replacing their teeth is possible outside of dental bridges and dentures. When they realize that dental implants can not only replace their teeth, but do so in a way that is truly natural-looking and long-lasting, they’re quite surprised! No matter what questions you have about dental implant treatment, Dr. Tijerina is happy to help however he can. Feel free to browse through a handful of the most common questions he hears!

Does insurance cover dental implants?

In most cases, dental implant placement is not actually covered by dental insurance. However, that does not mean you cannot expect coverage for other aspects of the treatment. For example, if you need preparatory treatments like bone grafting or gum therapy, you may be able to receive coverage. The restorations used to cover the implants themselves may also receive partial coverage, but this depends on the type of plan you have. We’ll go over your insurance benefits in great detail beforehand so you have a better idea of what to expect.

How long do dental implants last?

When placed by a professional, dental implants have the ability to last 30 years or longer when properly maintained. In many cases, dental implants can even last for the rest of the patient’s life. This is thanks to the strong bonding phase of treatment known as osseointegration. While dental implants can last a very long time, it is imperative to continue practicing daily brushing and flossing as well as maintain routine visits to our office. While dental implants do last for many decades and the crown portion is not capable of developing cavities, they can still fail if not properly taken care of.

How long does the dental implant process take? 

The length of your dental implant treatment largely depends on how complex your needs are. For example, single dental implants and implant/denture-retained implant treatments take between four and six months because of the healing phase that must occur. However, if you choose All-on-4 dental implants, you can receive your implants and restoration the same day! While this treatment still requires months of healing to complete, you won’t have to live without a restoration.

Can dental implants replace front teeth?

Absolutely! Just because dental implants are more involved than simple dental crowns doesn’t mean they can’t still look natural in your smile. Not only are the ceramics used to restore the teeth made from high-quality porcelain, but Dr. Tijerina makes sure that the implants are not visible underneath the skin. This ensures a truly natural-looking appearance.

Is the dental implant process painful?

In the overwhelming majority of cases, patients experience very little to no discomfort during the actual implant treatment. This is because we make sure to thoroughly numb all treatment areas with local anesthetic, effectively removing any and all sensations during surgery. However, just like with any oral surgery, there is some mild discomfort that can appear after the anesthetic wears off. This can be managed with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen. If you experience severe discomfort for multiple days after your treatment, call our office right away.

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