According to the American College of Prosthodontists, an estimated 36 million Americans do not have any remaining teeth while as many as 120 million are missing at least one tooth. Missing teeth can not only make you hesitant to smile. They can also cause difficulty eating and speaking properly, and threaten your overall oral health. Dr. Rafael Mercado can place and restore dental implants at his office in Castle Hills, TX, an advanced method which replaces missing teeth from root to crown. Our team can perform every phase of your dental implants treatment in-office, from planning to the placement of your permanent restoration, to ensure your comfort and a successful outcome.
Superior Tooth Replacement
Dental implants are widely considered the most natural-looking, beneficial treatment for replacing one or more teeth. Implants use abutments, or connector pieces, to support a customized dental crown, bridge, or denture.
Dr. Mercado and his staff can typically complete each phase of treatment at our office, saving you time, money, and stress.
By replacing the entire tooth, implants stimulate the jaw in the same way as dental roots. For this reason, implant-supported restorations are the only restorative method which prevents bone atrophy. This degeneration is a natural side effect of tooth loss and can significantly weaken the jaw.
Dental implants are also a long-lasting solution. Patients who avoid smoking and maintain a healthy lifestyle have been known to enjoy their implants for a lifetime.
The Treatment Process
Rather than refer your case to an outside provider, Dr. Mercado can typically perform every phase of treatment here in our office.
Preparing for Surgery
During your initial consultation, we will determine your candidacy for implants. We will evaluate your jaw and may recommend preliminary bone grafting or a sinus lift to strengthen or augment the treatment site. These procedures can usually be completed onsite and will lengthen your total treatment timeline. Our team will also instruct you on proper care leading up to your surgery, as well as discuss available sedation options.
Placing the Implants
To begin the surgery, Dr. Mercado will numb the area and create an incision in your gums at the implant sites. He will then create small holes in the bone, affix the implants directly in your jaw, and close the incisions. Depending on your needs, a temporary restoration may be placed at this time.
Over the next four to six months, your implants will integrate with the jawbone tissue. During this healing period, it is important that you refrain from using tobacco to reduce the risk of complications.
Finalizing Your Treatment
When your implants are fully healed, you will undergo a second minor procedure so Dr. Mercado can attach the abutments to your implants. Once the soft tissue has healed, you will come back to our office to receive your permanent dental crown, bridge, or denture.
Why Choose Our Practice?
Dr. Mercado and his team will use advanced materials and technology throughout the planning, placement, and restoration of your dental implants.
Precise Planning and Placement
We utilize the Sirona GALILEOS® Comfort PLUS, a type of cone beam computed tomography scanner, prior to your surgery. This 3-D imaging technology offers several benefits:
- Accurately assess the quality and density of the jawbone, an important step to determine whether preliminary treatment is necessary
- Precisely locate nerves and other structures to minimize the risk of complications
- Reduce the amount of radioactive exposure that results from traditional x-rays
For complex cases, including full mouth reconstructions, we may also perform fully guided dental implant surgery. This means that Dr. Mercado will use a customized surgical guide to place your implants in the optimal locations.
Advanced Techniques and Materials
Dr. Mercado offers a variety of implant options to suit your needs including:
- Mini implants: Smaller than traditional implants, these posts are ideal for replacing anterior teeth.
- Ceramic implants: Rather than use a traditional titanium material, we may recommend these natural-looking ceramic posts which are manufactured by Neodent®.
- All-on-4®: This advanced technique, developed by Nobel Biocare®, allows us to place a full arch of teeth in one appointment. By using just four strategically placed posts, this option can allow many patients to receive implants without bone grafting.
Schedule a Consultation
Left untreated, even a single missing tooth can result in shifting teeth, bone loss, and permanent changes to your bite and appearance. To determine whether you are a good candidate for dental implants, call our office at (210) 732-4570 or contact us online.