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Periodontics & Implantology Blog

Latest news and info on what's happening at San Antonio Periodontics and Implants.

Dental Implants: A Possible Solution For Missing Or Damaged Teeth


For those with damaged or missing teeth, a dental implant can be a positive solution. However though, there are many factors a patient will need to consider when assessing the possibility of getting dental implants.

What Is a Dental Implant?

Let’s start with what is a dental implant? Dental implants are artificial tooth roots placed in the jaw bone which can hold a prosthetic tooth, bridge, partial or denture. They are used to replace missing or damaged teeth for a variety of reasons. Most implants function the same as normal teeth and are cleaned and taken care of the same way. Once they are in place, they can look exactly the same as natural teeth.

Dental implants are typically made up of three parts. An implant is placed into the jawbone and acts as the root of the tooth. Then, an abutment is placed on top of the post, so it in line with the other teeth. The third part of the implant is the artificial crown. It is fitted over the abutment and acts as the new tooth.

Dental Implant Material

With changes in dental technology, there is the option of choosing between titanium or zirconia implants 


Titanium implants have been used the longest for most dental implants in the United States. These implants are popular because of their 95 percent success rate. Titanium posts fuse with the jawbone to create a strong, durable replacement to last for many years.


Zirconia is a more recent material used in dental implants in the last two decades in the United States but has been an option in Europe since the 1980s. Usually, zirconia is an option when a patient is allergic to titanium or prefers another option. The zirconia implant is typically very similar to titanium implants in design although can be 1-piece, 2-piece or 3-piece.

Types of Procedures

Dental implant procedures can range from just one tooth to the entire mouth depending on the patient’s teeth, jaw and the implant location, according to the American Academy of Periodontology.

  • Single tooth
  • Multiple teeth
  • Whole Mouth- It is possible to replace all of your missing teeth with dental implants.
  • Ridge Modification- If a patient has jaw deformities of any kind, then placing implants may be difficult. As a solution, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to find the place where the bone is missing. The void is then filled, which increases the chances of a successful implant and can improve the appearance of the jaw.
  • Sinus Augmentation- In the case of implants needing to go in the back upper jaw then sinus augmentation may also be needed to raise the sinus floor to add room for the new implants.

Dr. Maller looking at xray of mouth

Why Do People Get Dental Implants?

There are many reasons someone may need or want to get a dental implant. Dental implants have a few advantages, according to the Mayo Clinic. Because the implant fuses with the jawbone, the implants will not move, slip, or make sounds like dentures. The will not decay like natural teeth. The care of dental implants is the same as with natural teeth as opposed to dentures.

When to Get Dental Implants

There are several factors for why someone should get dental implants. It is important to discuss the options with your dental care provider, as well as understand that the healing process can take months since the bone itself needs to heal, according to the Mayo Clinic.

If you are considering dental implants here are some factors that may help you determine if they are right for you:

  • Be in good oral health as well good general health
  • Have one or multiple missing teeth
  • Have a fully grown jawbone with enough bone to support implants
  • Healthy gums
  • You do not want to wear dentures or are unable to wear dentures
  • You can commit to several months of recovery
  • You do not use tobacco excessively

If you meet any of this criteria, or have any concerns or questions about if dental implants are right for you, please contact our team at San Antonio Periodontics and Implants at 210-824-0111 for any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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