Dental Implants — Lincoln, NE
Complete Dental Implant Treatment Under One Roof
Tooth loss can be devastating for patients on several levels,
robbing them of their oral health, their smile’s ability to function, and their sense of self-confidence. At
Smile Specialties, prosthodontist Dr. Jennifer Reed excels at rebuilding strong and attractive teeth for those with
gaps in their smile, and dental implants are the most successful and lifelike option available today. Our team
personally handles every step of the procedure in-office instead of referring you to an outside specialist, taking
you from initial consultation to surgical placement to final restoration in one familiar, comfortable atmosphere.
Whether your tooth loss is recent or you’re unhappy with the work performed by a general dentist,
consider contacting our Lincoln, NE dental office today to schedule your
Why Choose Smile Specialists For Dental Implants?
- Permanently Replace Any Number of Missing Teeth
- Entire Dental Implant Treatment Completed In-Office By Dr. Reed
- Dental Insurance Welcome & Flexible Financing Options Available
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants closely mimic the appearance and
function of your natural teeth because they replace the entire structure. Unlike dentures or dental bridges that
only replace the visible portion of your smile, dental implants restore both the crowns and the roots of missing
teeth. They consist of three parts: an implant post, an abutment, and a final restoration. The implant post is
strategically placed into your jawbone where a missing tooth once was. Replacing the roots stimulates your jawbone
and prevents bone deterioration. Not only does this encourage the bone tissue to fuse with the implant, but it will
help keep your jawbone strong and healthy for many years to come.
After your jawbone is healed and the implant is firmly in place, a second minor surgery is needed to attach a special
fixture called an abutment. This connector piece secures your custom-made restoration in place among your pearly
whites. Depending on the extend of your tooth loss, one or more dental implants can be used to support a crown,
bridge, or denture. The end result is a smile that looks, feels, and functions just like natural!
The 4 Step Dental Implant Process
Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants require a multi-step process that takes months to complete. While this
may seem like a long time, their unique placement and healing period is exactly what allows you to enjoy the many
advantages that dental implants have to offer. At Smile Specialties, we proudly offer the placement and restoration
of dental implants under the same roof. Dr. Reed loves giving her patients access to the best treatments. Keep
reading to learn how dental implants work in Lincoln.
Initial Dental Implant Consultation
During your initial consultation, Dr. Reed will review your medical history and thoroughly examine your mouth to
see if dental implants are right for you. If necessary, she may recommend preliminary treatments like bone
grafting, tooth extractions, or gum disease therapy to help you become a good candidate for dental implants. One
of the benefits of having a skilled implant dentist in Lincoln is that you can get all these treatments at the
same location for simple dental care!
Dental Implant Surgery
Dr. Reed completes the entire process in-house, allowing you to enjoy a convenient, consistent treatment. She
will first ensure that the surgical area is numb and provide you with any necessary sedation or anesthesia.
Then, she will carefully make a minor incision to access the bone. Once the implants are placed, she will close
the gums and place temporary restorations to maintain your appearance and chewing ability. Next, we’ll be
able to create your custom treatment plan depending on the number of teeth that you’re missing.
Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement
After completing any preliminary treatments and inserting the implant post into your jawbone, your mouth will
need quite some time to heal. The titanium post will gradually fuse with the surrounding bone tissue to form an
incredibly sturdy foundation for your new tooth. This process is called osseointegration, and it can take
anywhere from four to six months to complete before you can move on to the placement of your final restoration.
Then, you’ll complete a minor procedure where we will place abutments (small connectors). During the last
few weeks of healing, we will take impressions of your smile, which are used to create your restorations.
Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations
Once your dental implants have fully healed, all that’s left to do is to come into our office for your
final restorations. Dr. Reed creates crowns, bridges, and dentures out of incredibly high-quality dental
materials for the most lifelike, beautiful results. The restoration that you require will directly depend on
your specific needs, including the number of teeth that you’re missing. After placing your permanent
restorations, Dr. Reed will always ensure that your new and improved smile feels comfortable and meets all your
expectations. All that’s left to do is to walk out of our office with your strong and confident smile
thanks to dental implants in Lincoln.
Benefits of Dental Implants
There are many benefits to choosing dental implant
supported tooth replacement. Some of the most important advantages of this treatment option include the following:
- Long-lasting: Dental implants can last for decades with proper care. Traditional fixed bridges
and dentures typically need to be replaced at least once a decade, but your implant supported replacement tooth
will last thirty years or longer in some cases.
- Easy maintenance: While it’s important to care for your implant supported replacement
tooth, it’s easier to keep these permanently affixed prosthetics clean and functional. You can simply
brush them like you would your healthy, natural smile.
- Improved chewing ability: All implant supported tooth replacement plans allow us to replace
both the roots and crowns of missing teeth, making them much closer to nature, but for those who need a more
advanced denture restoration, this improved structure is even more important. Removable dentures, at best,
replace about 20% of chewing ability, which significantly limits diet, but an implant denture allows you to
reclaim about 70% of your chewing function.
Who Dental Implants Can Help
Virtually every patient with
missing teeth can successfully restore their smile with dental implants. However, your general oral health and
amount of remaining healthy jawbone structure will affect Dr. Reed’s treatment plan, as well as whether
she’s likely to recommend any additional services before the implant procedure itself is set to begin. During
your initial consultation, she will review all of this information with you in detail and determine the plan of
action that suits your personal needs best.
There are multiple choices for implant restoration, and Dr. Reed will work with you closely in order to design the
ideal prosthetic for your personal situation:
Missing 1 Tooth
Implant-retained crowns are crafted from high-quality, tooth-colored materials and designed to cover individual
implants, which preserves the health and structure of the surrounding natural teeth.
Missing Multiple Teeth
Implant-retained bridges and partial dentures can replace multiple consecutive or non-consecutive teeth along a
single arch without relying on surrounding healthy tooth structure.
Missing All Teeth
Implant dentures can restore an entire arch of missing teeth, attaching to between four and eight dental implants and
providing support that’s both reliable and cost-effective. Your customized prosthetic can be fixed (permanent)
or removable, depending on your current state of oral health and personal preferences.
Learn More About Implant Dentures
As an alternative to traditional implants, patients facing extensive tooth loss and deteriorated oral health may
benefit from an All-on-4 (or “Teeth-in-a-Day”) method. These prosthetics are designed to replicate an
entire arch of missing teeth, and they’re anchored in place through just four implants that are strategically
placed at an angle within the gum line for maximum contact and support. Immediately after the surgical procedure,
Dr. Reed will place a temporary prosthetic that immediately improves your oral function, biting strength, and facial
appearance. After you’ve healed, you’ll return to our Lincoln, NE dental office so that the permanent
prosthetic can be attached.
Learn More About All-On-4 Dental Implants
Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants
Dr. Reed and her team firmly believe that dental implants are the most
cost-effective solution to tooth loss. As a prosthodontist, she understands how damaging the effects of tooth loss
can be, and no other tooth replacement option truly restores your smile as well as implant-supported restorations.
Of course, patients often look at the price tag of dental implants with hesitation. If you’re unsure why the
cost of implants is so high or how you’ll pay for treatment, please take a moment to learn more about how we
evaluate your costs below! If you’d like to discuss your treatment plan in person, contact her Lincoln, NE office today!
Types of Dental Implants
Since there are many different manufacturers of
dental implants out there today, Dr. Reed will take the time to review the variety of implants and materials
available. We’ll review all viable options and choose one that fits your unique dental needs. Keep in mind
that out of all the factors that influence the cost of treatment, the number of implants needed for tooth
replacement is by far one of the most significant. It can also vary based on the location the implant is placed.
If you need preparatory treatments for successful implantation, including a bone or tissue graft, it will
influence the total cost as well.
Stages of Dental Implant Treatment
When determining cost, you should always
take the many steps of implant placement into consideration first. Your treatment length will vary depending on
how complex each stage of your treatment becomes. Implant placement consists of three main stages: the placement
stage, the healing stage and the restoration stage. During the healing stage, you’ll need to practice
daily oral care to ensure that your gums stay healthy as the implant integrates with your bone tissue. Prior to
placement, Dr. Reed will go over the restoration you’ll need to effectively replace your teeth, whether
it’s a single implant-retained crown or a more complex implant-retained denture.
Are Dental Implants Worth the Investment?
Some patients are hesitant to
consider dental implants because they cost more than dentures or a dental bridge. However, we truly believe that
dental implants are a worthwhile investment in your long-term oral health and quality of life. In fact, since
dental implants have the potential to last for a lifetime, they may end up saving you money over time.
They’ll also lower your risk of developing potentially complex and expensive oral health issues. Perhaps
most importantly, you can’t put a price on the new confidence you’ll have with a beautiful,
Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?
Unfortunately, dental implants are
largely seen as a cosmetic service by insurance companies, leaving most of their costs uncovered. However, it
may be possible to have certain aspects of your treatment covered, such as preparatory treatments or the
restoration itself. Our office is more than happy to process and file claims for most PPO dental insurance
providers, saving you the trouble of handling the paperwork yourself. We also offer CareCredit to make payment
for expensive treatments more manageable.
Dental Implant Post-Op Instructions
At Smile Specialties, we can complete the entire dental implant process from start to finish in one convenient,
familiar location. That means our team will be there every step of the way on your journey towards a complete smile,
offering guidance and support as needed. Following your oral surgery, we’ll provide you with post-op
instructions to help you make a smooth sailing recovery. If you want to know more about what to expect throughout
the healing period, continue reading or contact our
What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery
After getting dental implants in Lincoln, you want to make sure you diligently follow Dr. Reed’s post-op
instructions to ensure a speedy and comfortable recovery. One of the most important things you’ll need to
do during this period is leave the forming blood clot on your surgical site untouched. It needs to be left alone
so your gums can properly heal around the implant. To that end, make sure you avoid:
- Spitting (use tissues or swallow your saliva)
- Drinking from straws
- Touching the surgical site with your fingers and tongue
Common Side-Effects When Recovering from Dental Implant Placement
If you’ve never had oral surgery before, you’re probably unsure which symptoms are normal and which
ones you should be worried about. In the first few days following dental implant placement, it’s normal to
experience the following side effects:
- Intermittent Bleeding – You can manage it by using gauze and applying light pressure
on the surgical site. Although it can last for several days, it should gradually improve.
- Swelling – Your swelling may last over a week, but you can get it to go down more
quickly by placing a cold compress on the cheek or jaw for 10 minutes at a time.
- General Discomfort – It can be alleviated by taking prescribed or over-the-counter
pain medication as directed.
Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery
It’s incredibly important that you stick to a soft-food diet for the first few days following your dental
implant surgery in Lincoln. In preparation for your recovery, here are some foods you should stock up on:
- Mashed potatoes
- Ice cream
- Scrambled eggs
As soon as you feel up for it, you can return to your normal diet. However, it’s strongly recommended that
you continue to exercise caution with certain foods and avoid direct chewing on the implant site.
Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene
After your oral surgery, it’s crucial to keep your mouth clean to ensure that the dental implants
successfully integrate with the surrounding bone tissue. Although you can brush your teeth as you normally would
the day after your procedure, you’ll need to be extremely careful around the surgical site. Make sure you
rinse your mouth with salt water two to three times per day as well, ideally after eating. Avoid using any
mouthwash that contains high levels of alcohol, like Scope or Listerine.
What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached
Once you’re all healed-up and ready to go, you’ll return to the office for the last step of the
process – the attachment of your prosthetic! You may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity in the gum
tissue after your restoration is placed, but it can easily be managed with pain medication. You’ll be
ready to make the most of your new smile that same day!
Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants
Not only do dental implants in Lincoln look, feel, and function like natural teeth, but they can be cared for just as
easily as well! You shouldn’t need to use any special products or change your daily dental routine to keep
your new smile healthy. This makes them much less of a hassle than traditional dentures. Still, if you want to keep
your new teeth healthy for years or decades to come, it’s essential that you practice a few healthy habits.
Make Oral Hygiene a Priority
Even though your new teeth can’t get cavities, daily oral hygiene is stull crucial to keeping them in great
condition. Otherwise, you might develop gum disease, an infection which could compromise the tissues and bone that
hold your implants in place, causing them to fail. Luckily, routine dental implant care in Lincoln is just as simple
as it is with natural teeth: brush twice a day, floss at least once a day, and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash
Stick to a Nutritious Diet
With dental implants, you can eat practically any food you’d like with ease, so feel free to enjoy a varied
diet. However, it can be problematic for your implants if you overindulge in particularly crunchy, sticky, or chewy
foods; they could break or loosen your restoration. Additionally, sugary and starchy foods increase the risk of gum
disease, so consume them in moderation. Instead, be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and other foods with
nutrients like vitamin C and calcium, both of which promote healthy oral tissue for your implants.
Break Bad Habits
Many of the same habits that can damage natural teeth are also harmful for dental implants. For example, biting your
fingernails or using your teeth to open packaging might crack or break your restoration. Smoking could also lead to
dental implant failure, as tobacco slows healing and encourages infection in the mouth. If you need help kicking
habits like these, please reach out to a member of our team.
Protect Your Dental Implants
Like natural teeth, dental implants are durable, but sudden injury or chronic wear and tear can damage them
irreparably. To protect your newly rebuilt smile against sports-related damage, be sure to wear an athletic
mouthguard during every game and practice. Similarly, wear a nightguard if you have a history
of clenching and grinding your teeth while you sleep.
Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Even if all of your teeth have been replaced with dental implants, you’ll still need to see your implant
dentist in Lincoln for checkups on a regular basis. Usually, this means twice a year. Problems with dental implants
(and oral health problems in general) often develop slowly and don’t present uncomfortable or even noticeable
symptoms at first. When Dr. Reed has the chance to evaluate your smile, she can detect any potential concerns early
on and address them before they have the chance to wreak havoc on your pearly whites.
Dental Implant FAQs
It’s not uncommon to have many questions when considered dental implants in Lincoln. This decision to replace
your missing teeth with these permanent prosthetics requires understanding the process and recovery phase and
preparing for life with a fully restored smile once again. Dr. Reed and our team want you to feel confident about
your decision to choose dental implants, which is why you will find various questions listed below from previous
patients. We hope you will review this information and contact us should you wish to schedule an
appointment for further discussion.
How can I tell if my dental implant is failing?
It is highly unlikely that your dental implants will fail, as they do have a high success rate of 95-98%.
However, in the rare case that you begin to notice changes in your smile or difficulties performing certain
daily tasks, it is best that you get in to see us right away. If you begin to notice that your implant feels
loose, your gums are beginning to swell, or you start experiencing additional pain around your implants, we will
need to examine the problem area and recommend the appropriate course of action. If caught early enough, we may
be able to save the implant.
Am I too young to get dental implants?
Patients under the age of 18 are typically not eligible for dental implants because the jaw and facial structure
are not finished developing. However, most individuals who are at least in their 20s may be eligible should they
face tooth loss. An implant dentist in Lincoln will need to examine your oral cavity and jawbone structure to
determine if you qualify for treatment, but the truth is that most adults living with at least one missing tooth
will be eligible to receive dental implants. But it is necessary that you be in good general oral and overall
health and have adequate jawbone density to support your implant and restoration.
Will people be able to tell that I have dental implants?
One of the great benefits of dental implants is that they look and feel just like regular teeth. Customized to
match the size, shape, and color of your regular teeth, they are truly a superior form of tooth replacement. No
matter if you need one, multiple, or between 4 and 8 implants to restore an entire arch, these prosthetics take
on a natural appearance, making it nearly impossible for anyone to tell the difference between your real and
artificial teeth. Also, you’ll regain your bite force and chewing power, so no one will ever be able to
tell that you are wearing dental implants to effectively eat the foods you love.
What should I do if I can’t afford dental implants?
Not all dental insurance companies will pay a portion of the cost for your dental implant surgery. The truth is
that only a few are coming around to the idea that these prosthetics are actually necessary for some
individuals. While they may agree to cover your preliminary treatments or restoration, in part, you can still
make your treatment affordable by applying for flexible financing. With CareCredit, you can enroll in a low or
zero interest payment plan. Eligible individuals will be able to break up the cost of treatment into manageable
monthly installments, making it easier than ever to achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile while on a budget!