Dental Implants

Restore Your Smile’s Beauty and Function With Our Pineville Dentist

Tooth loss in adults is much more common than you may think. Several factors contribute to missing teeth. An incomplete smile can make it hard to chew, speak, and smile and may negatively impact your self-image.

Thankfully, affordable dental implants from our expert restorative dentist in Pineville, LA, Dr. Virginia Locke, can help. Dental implant restorations offer a long-lasting and stable solution to missing teeth.

Learn more about how dental implants can benefit your smile and oral health. We proudly provide expert implant dentistry options to patients in Pineville, Natchitoches, and Alexandria, LA.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the only permanent, natural-looking solution for missing teeth. These titanium fixtures can restore a missing tooth from root to crown, providing unmatched stability and strength once secured to your jaw. This also means you’ll never have to worry about them shifting out of place like other tooth replacements.

Teeth implants consist of a dental crown, bridge, or full-arch dentures for a natural-looking restoration. Our Pineville cosmetic and restorative dentist, Dr. Locke, will ensure your crown looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth. Depending on your unique oral health needs, you may be able to receive your dental implant restoration in two appointments at our office.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants offer several unique advantages that other tooth-replacement methods can’t match, including:

  • Longevity and Durability: Unlike natural teeth, dental implants are resistant to stains and decay. They can also last a lifetime with proper maintenance and care.
  • Natural Appearance: Dr. Locke will ensure your dental crown matches the shape, size, and color of your surrounding teeth for a seamless, natural appearance.
  • Promotes Jaw Bone Health: Because implants mimic tooth roots, they provide the stimulation jaw bones need to maintain bone density and good health.
  • Easy Maintenance: Caring for your dental implants is as simple as caring for them like natural teeth. Brush once a day, floss twice a day, and rinse with mouthwash between meals to get the most out of your restoration.

Candidacy for Dental Implants

When you want a restoration that allows you to live without restraint, dental implants may be right for you. Our implant dentist in Pineville, LA, may recommend this treatment for patients with:

  • Severely decayed teeth
  • Irreparably damaged teeth
  • One or more missing teeth
  • Ill-fitting dentures or bridges

An ideal candidate for dental implants will have a strong and dense jawbone and healthy gums. If you suffer from jawbone deterioration or gum disease, you can boost your candidacy for implants with the help of a supplemental procedure. Dr. Locke will discuss necessary supplemental treatments during your consultation and factor them into your treatment plan.

Dental Implant Process

Initial Consultation

Restoring your smile with dental implants is a three-step process completed over several months. You’ll first attend a consultation with Dr. Locke, where she’ll examine your teeth, gums, and jaw to determine if implants are right for you. Our Pineville, LA dentist will also answer questions and explain the process in detail

Implant Placement

After administering a local anesthetic, Dr. Locke will place the implant directly into your jawbone and protect the area with a temporary restoration. You’ll need to allow three to six months for your jaw to heal and fuse with the implant, a process known as osseointegration.

Personalized Restoration Placement

Using dental implants, Dr. Locke can create implant-retained dentures that will never shift or slide out of place, unlike removable dentures. With dental implants, you’ll be able to enjoy a secure restoration that can actively prevent jawbone deterioration. Best of all, you won’t need to use any dental adhesives.

Dental Implant Aftercare

It’s crucial to follow Dr. Locke’s post-op instructions for at least one week after your procedure. These instructions include:

  • Limit your diet to soft foods
  • Avoid alcohol or tobacco products
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water after meals

Once your implant has healed, you can care for it like a natural tooth with daily brushing and flossing. Our dentists recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush and nylon floss while avoiding brands of toothpaste that contain abrasive ingredients.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are dental implants safe?

Yes, dental implants are a safe and reliable treatment. Dental implants have an overall success rate of 98 percent. As long as your surgery is performed by an experienced and qualified dentist like Dr. Locke, there’s no reason to worry. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement that prevents your jawbone from shrinking, making them the safest option long-term.

How long do dental implants last?

With proper oral hygiene care and maintenance, implants can last a lifetime. However, your dental crown may only last about 15 years. Daily brushing and flossing can help extend the lifespan of your dental restoration.

We also encourage patients in the Rapides Parish, LA area to schedule biannual dental exams and cleanings. Routine dental appointments help support your oral health and restorations.

Are dental implants painful?

Receiving dental implants is a virtually painless process. Dr. Locke will administer a local anesthetic beforehand to ensure you don’t feel any pain or discomfort. We also offer nitrous oxide sedation for patients with dental anxiety.

It’s normal to experience mild soreness once the numbness subsides, but any pain should fade within a few days. You can alleviate this discomfort with over-the-counter pain relievers and cold compresses.

How much do dental implants cost?

The cost of dental implants depends on several factors, such as how many implants you received. Dr. Locke will provide you with a cost estimate of your implant treatment at your initial consultation. We recommend contacting your dental insurance provider beforehand to learn what coverage your plan provides.

Most dental insurance providers designate dental implants as a cosmetic treatment and don’t cover them. However, your insurance may pay for a portion of your total treatment cost depending on the terms set by your provider.

If you have any questions about your insurance coverage, call our Pineville office at (318) 448-3804. We’ll be happy to help you maximize your insurance benefits.

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