Dental Implants – Katy, TX

Beautiful & Permanent Tooth Replacement

For people with missing teeth, dental implants offer a way to give their smiles a new lease on life. Unlike more traditional tooth replacements, implants actually restore the whole dental structure from root to crown, creating something that looks, feels, and performs just like the real thing. Dr. Koo and Dr. Shepard have helped thousands of patients recover their bites and confidence using dental implants in our Katy, TX oral surgery office, and they are eager to do the same for you. To learn more and schedule a consultation, contact us today.

What are Dental Implants?

Animated smile during dental implant dental crown placement

A dental implant isn’t a prosthetic tooth, but rather a small titanium post that is placed within the jawbone to mimic a missing root. Once in place, the surrounding bone bonds with the implant through a natural process called osseointegration. When this is complete, a new crown, bridge, or denture can be attached to the implant to bring back the visible portion of the tooth/teeth.

The 4 Step Dental Implant Process

Animated smile with dental implant supported replacement tooth components being put into place

Getting dental implants is a complex process that takes place across several months. That might seem like a long time, but the end results are well worth it! Here at Piney Point Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of Katy/Cypress, we can perform all stages of the process, or we can partner with your general dentist. Drs. Koo and Shepard are both skilled professionals who are ready to help you plan a successful implant journey. While the exact process can vary from patient to patient, how dental implants work in Katy usually involves four main stages of treatment:

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Dentist and patient discussing how dental implants work in Katy

Dr. Koo or Dr. Shepard will give you a thorough exam, complete with a CBCT scan, and discuss your tooth replacement options. This discussion will be based on your current oral health, your overall health, and your goals. Feel free to ask any questions that you may have about the road ahead — our team is always happy to share information! If both you and your oral surgeon agree that dental implants are right for you, you’ll be scheduled for your placement surgery. If you are not quite ready for dental implants, you might be scheduled for some preliminary treatments first.

Dental Implant Surgery

Oral surgeon preparing to place dental implant in patient’s mouth

Our oral surgeons often use advanced computer-guided surgical techniques to position implants within the jawbone. This high-tech approach minimizes the risk of human error. During the surgery, you should feel little to nothing. In addition to numbing your mouth, we might also sedate you with either IV sedation or general anesthesia. Depending on your circumstances, you might be fitted with temporary teeth while you heal so you’ll have a complete smile throughout the entire process. Most patients are feeling well enough to return to work within a day or two of their appointment.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

Dental implant successfully integrated with jawbone next to natural teeth

Osseointegration is the process through which dental implants in Katy bond with the surrounding oral tissues. It is what enables the implants to provide such a strong base of support for your new teeth. Osseointegration usually takes 3 – 6 months.

Following osseointegration, you might need to undergo a second minor surgery, wherein your implants will be exposed and healing caps will be placed on them. Once your gums recover, we may place abutments (small connector pieces) on your implants. (Some patients receive abutments during their initial implant surgery.) After your abutments are secured, you can look forward to the final stage of your treatment journey.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

Happy patient admiring her new dental implant restorations

Often, our patients return to their general implant dentist in Katy or their prosthodontist for this part of their treatment. Your care provider will design your new teeth and place them in your mouth. Every detail, including your bite, as well as the color and shape of your teeth, will be taken into account. If you currently do not have a general dentist or prosthodontist, our team may refer you to one or handle this part of your tooth replacement journey in-house. Once your new teeth are in place, you will be able to start enjoying the many benefits of dental implants!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Woman eating an apple after dental implant tooth replacement

Dentists and specialists in the U.S. place over five million dental implants each year — this treatment is among the most popular forms of tooth replacement! Why do so many people flock to it? Simply because of the many benefits that dental implants offer. They have the potential to improve your everyday life, support your overall health, and provide you with decades of reliable function. Below, you can read more about how they might be able to change your life.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Friends enjoying meal together, enjoying benefits of dental implants

Some of the day-to-day benefits of dental implants in Katy include:

  • Peace of mind. Traditional bridges and dentures are notorious for slipping out of place, but you never have to worry about this with implants because they are held firm within the bone just like real teeth.
  • Natural appearance. Because implants don’t require obvious metal attachments to remain stable, they seamlessly blend with the rest of the teeth. Whether you are meeting with clients at work or engaging in social activities, you’ll be able to smile with confidence.
  • Reliable function. Dental implants are strong enough to stand up to virtually any food, including ones that are off-limits with traditional dentures.
  • Easy maintenance. In many ways, caring for dental implants is just like caring for natural teeth. Thorough oral hygiene, along with regular visits to your implant dentist in in Katy, may be all that is necessary to keep them healthy and thriving.

Health Benefits

Two dental implants in jaw, supporting bone health

Dental implants support oral and overall health in numerous ways:

  • Jawbone preservation. Dental implant roots provide internal support for the jawbone and prevent bone loss. This is in contrast to traditional dentures, which may actually worsen bone loss.
  • Protection for natural teeth. Implants can prevent the remaining natural teeth from drifting out of place. Also, unlike a traditional bridge, they usually do not require that any of the nearby natural teeth be modified or extracted.
  • A balanced diet. Some people with tooth loss miss out on key nutrients in their diet. Dental implants can help you enjoy the disease-preventing benefits of a wide variety of foods.

Long-Term Benefits

Senior woman enjoying the long-term benefits of dental implants

Dental implants will begin to benefit you shortly after you receive them, and you can expect them to continue to serve you well for many years. Some of their long-term benefits include:

  • Regular bridges and dentures have a 7 – 10 year lifespan on average, while implants have been shown to easily last for 30 years or more. The restorations on top of implants also tend to last for quite a while.
  • Save money. Although implants cost more upfront than other forms of tooth replacement, they last for so long that they might actually be more affordable if you calculate their cost per day over the course of a few decades.
  • Possibly live longer. Tooth loss is associated with early mortality. Although dental implants cannot bring your real teeth back, they can address many of the factors that might shorten your lifespan. For example, they may reduce your risk of gum disease and help you to enjoy an active social life.

Who Can Dental Implants Help?

Closeup of smile with dental implant post visible

Practically anyone dealing with tooth loss can benefit from dental implants, whether they are missing one tooth, all of their teeth, or a number in between. All that’s required of the patient is to have good oral health, no general health problems that could create complications during surgery, and a strong enough jawbone to hold the new teeth. If any of these are an issue, our oral surgeons can help a patient get what they need to qualify for implants. Once someone is ready, they can choose from the following options to renew their smile:

Missing One Tooth

Closeup of smile with missing bottom tooth

Rather than filing down perfectly healthy teeth to hold a bridge, an implant can be placed into the mouth and topped with a custom crown, leading to a better final result that also preserves more of someone’s remaining dental structure.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Closeup of smile with multiple missing teeth

Bridges are typically held in place using crowns fitted over natural teeth, but they can also be supported using two dental implants. This is a great option for patients who don’t have the dental structure needed to support a bridge, plus implant bridges are proven to last longer and look better than their removable counterparts.

Missing All of Your Teeth

Man missing all teeth covering his mouth

It only takes 4-6 implants to replace an entire row of teeth with an implant denture. These prosthetics can be fixed in place, so they don’t have to be removed for cleaning, plus they restore much more biting strength compared to regular dentures, allowing a patient to eat whatever they like with ease.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Animated parts of the dental implant replacement tooth

Because the dental implant procedure can vary quite a bit from patient to patient, the cost is always different. Each step of the process, from the consultation to the surgery to the final restorations, incurs its own cost, and a patient won’t be expected to pay for everything upfront. At your initial appointment, our team will go over these details with you so you know exactly what to expect, and we’ll also discuss how we can use your insurance and offer financing to make treatment more affordable.