Losing your teeth can affect every aspect of your life and make eating, speaking, and smiling difficult.
By placing dental implants, Dr. Rick Heard, can replace lost tooth roots and provide an outstanding foundation for your restorations.
So what makes implants the gold standard in tooth replacement?
So what is an implant-supported restoration?
Expert Treatment from a Board-Certified Periodontist
As a periodontist, Dr. Heard has a unique understanding of the supporting structures of your smile. In addition, he has received extensive training in the placement of dental implants.
With over 15 years of experience, Dr. Heard can provide an expert level of surgical care while coordinating with your dentist to create a stable, comfortable, natural-looking restoration for your implants. In addition, we use advanced technology, such as the CEREC® system and 3D imaging, to ensure your treatment is as comfortable and efficient as possible.
How do I know if I qualify for implants?
During your initial consultation with Dr. Heard, he will perform a thorough examination of your smile and review your medical history. He will also take x-rays or advanced 3D images with our dental cone beam computed tomography (CT) scanner. Based on his findings, Dr. Heard can design a personalized treatment plan to suit your needs.
Conditions that can affect your candidacy for dental implants include:
So how does implant treatment work?
Take a closer look at the implant process...
But what will my results look like?
The results look great. But can I afford it?
The Cost of Implants Varies
Every smile is different, and your specific needs will affect how much your procedure costs. Dr. Heard can provide you with a personalized cost estimate during your consultation.
Your final treatment cost will depend on several factors, including:
Are implants really worth the time and money?
“As always, my experience with Dr. Heard and his staff was wonderful. The staff are professional, competent , caring and Dr. Heard is an amazing oral surgeon!”Pamela S.
What can I expect following surgery?
Following your surgery, it is normal to experience swelling, discomfort, and minor bleeding for a few days. Dr. Heard will provide personalized instructions on how to best deal with these side effects:
- Swelling: Applying ice packs against your cheeks during the first 48 hours can reduce swelling, discomfort, and bruising. You can also sleep with your head elevated to further ease any swelling.
- Pain: Prescription pain medication will help with discomfort following surgery. Depending on your particular needs, Dr. Heard may recommend taking over-the-counter pain relievers in combination with the prescription meds.
- Bleeding: Dr. Heard will provide gauze to stop minor bleeding in your gums. Contact your dentist immediately if you notice any excessive blood loss.
Prescribed antibiotics and antiseptic mouthwash can help fight infection. You may be able to return to work two to three days after surgery, but you need to avoid any strenuous physical activity until you are cleared by Dr. Heard.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is important following your surgery. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with caution as you begin brushing the area around the placement sites. This will help to avoid irritating your incisions. It is important to keep your mouth clean and free from food particles that could become trapped in your gums during this period. Rinse your mouth out thoroughly after each meal, to get rid of stubborn food particles. Be sure to take care to let the water fall out of your mouth. You want to avoid any kind of forceful spitting.
Dr. Heard will prescribe a soft food diet for the first few days. Once you are properly healed, you will be able to enjoy your favorite foods and a full diet once again.
Depending on how quickly your recovery is progressing, your stitches will be removed one to two weeks after surgery.
Once you receive your permanent restoration, you should continue your regular dental hygiene routine. Be sure to brush twice and floss once per day. Biannual visits to the dentist should be made a priority to ensure that the implants remain stable and healthy.
Studies have shown that with proper care and regular checkups, dental implants can last a lifetime.
How safe are dental implants?
Dental implants have an incredibly stout long-term success rate. Like all surgeries, however, implant placement involves some degree of risk, including:
- Implant failure
The single most effective way a patient can reduce the risk of dental implant complications is choosing a dentist with the right training, experience, and reputation, like Dr. Heard.
By spending just a few minutes online, you can find out a wealth of information regarding how long a dentist has been in practice, how and where they learned to perform implant procedures, and how patients feel about the quality of their work.
Dr. Rick Heard received his Doctorate in Dental Surgery and a Certificate and Masters of Science in Periodontics and Implantology from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Following his residency, he became a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology.
Dr. Heard can patiently answer your questions and explain the procedure in detail so that you make an educated decision about your dental implant treatment.
Dental implants are a landmark in restorative dentistry. It is the only treatment currently available that stops bone loss in your jaw after losing a tooth. By replacing your lost teeth with implant-supported restorations, you can expect to be able to speak clearly, eat the food you love, and smile with confidence.
If you have suffered with an incomplete smile or have dentures that you cannot rely on, contact Gulf Coast Periodontics to learn how dental implants can make your life better. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Heard to find out if dental implants are right for you.
Dr. Heard is board-certified in periodontology and dental implant surgery with over 15 years of experience in the field. He is also a member of multiple prestigious organizations, including:
- The American Academy of Periodontology
- The American Dental Association
- The McGuire Institute
Find out if you are a candidate for dental implants by requesting an appointment online or calling (361) 214-2151 today.
“After multiple years of avoiding a dental issue, I visited Dr. Heard. In a short period of time, I went from what I thought was a hopeless dental problem, to a complete solution. I now have a full understanding of my procedure, the timeline, and even exact costs.” Satisfied Patient