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Dental Implants – Corpus Christi, TX

Fully Detailed, Comprehensive Tooth Replacement

Do you wish your tooth replacement felt truly natural and looked seamless in your mouth? While there are many solutions for replacing teeth, dental implants provide the best longevity, functionality and esthetics possible because of their unique integration process. Dr. Pitarra will walk you through each step of the treatment and help you decide if dental implants from our Corpus Chrisit, TX dental team are right for you. Call her dental office today and she’ll help you get started on planning your treatment!

Why Choose Sarah Pitarra, DDS for Dental Implants?

  • Dental Implant Placement Performed In-House
  • Exceptional Cosmetic Dental Treatments
  • Natural-Looking Restorative Materials

What is a Dental Implant?

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Dental implants are unique tooth replacements that mimic both the crown portion that completes your smile and the root that’s integrated inside of your jaw bone. By replacing the root, you can begin stimulating your jaw once more and prevent bone material from resorbing back into your body. After the implant has had several months of time to heal, it will become fully part of your jaw moving forward. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement method that offers this level of functionality.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

Animated parts of dental implant supported dental crown

At our dental office, we perform all steps of dental implant treatment, including the placement and the restorative phase (where we determine whether you need a crown, bridge, or denture to cover your dental implants.) We also place an abutment, which fits inside the implant and gives the restoration a reliable foundation. Keep in mind that the length of your overall treatment will vary based on how specific your oral health needs are. Read on to learn what to expect from the dental implant process.

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Initial Dental Implant Consultation

a person presenting a plastic model of a dental implant

Firstly, we’ll begin your treatment process by discussing your oral health and dental needs during an initial consultation. Our team will assess your smile and determine the proper steps for rebuilding your missing teeth, including which kind of restoration would be best to renew your grin.

We’ll also want to ensure that you’re free of any underlying complications, such as decay or gum disease, that way you’re at a far lower risk of implant failure later on. If necessary, we’ll provide preliminary services like gum disease treatment, bone grafting, or tooth extractions to prepare you for your procedure.

Dental Implant Surgery

an oral surgeon performing dental implant surgery

Our team can complete the entire dental implant process in the office, so you won’t have to travel across town to receive the treatment you need. At the start of your appointment, we’ll provide you with a local anesthetic so that you don’t feel any pain during the surgery. We might even offer sedation dentistry so that you can enjoy optimal comfort and relaxation.

Once you’re safe and ready, we’ll make an incision in your gums to access the jawbone locations where we’ll place your dental implants. Afterward, your dentist will suture the gums closed around the posts and place protective caps over them to keep them safe while you heal.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

a 3 D illustration of a dental implant and abutment

You’ll typically need to spend three to six months recovering from your dental implant surgery. This is especially necessary for osseointegration to occur—the process of the titanium posts fusing with the jawbone. Once this is properly completed, you’ll return to our office to have your abutments placed, which are small metal connector pieces that link your restoration to your implants. You’ll need to take several weeks to allow your gums to heal from this stage of the process.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restoration(s)

a patient smiling after receiving her dental implants

After your gums are recovered, you’ll return to our office to receive your final restorations. Depending on your treatment plan, you’ll receive either a dental crown, bridge, or denture atop your dental implant(s). Our team will then confirm that your bite is correct and comfortable and that you’re satisfied with your results before sending you on your way to show off your new and full smile!

Benefits of Dental Implants

Man in green sweater standing in kitchen and smiling

Dental implants are highly recommended by many dentists when it comes to replacing any number of teeth. They stand out from traditional dentures and bridges, offering a number of unique advantages. If you are trying to figure out whether dental implants are truly the right choice for your smile, now is a good time to learn more about the many benefits associated with the treatment and how they can change your life for the better.

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Day-to-Day Benefits

Woman in yellow shirt standing outside smiling

Once the final restoration has been placed on your dental implants, you can look forward to the following improvements in your day-to-day life:

  • A Boost in Self-Esteem: Not only will your dental implants closely resemble your natural teeth, but there’s no chance of them slipping at inopportune moments. You will once again have a complete, dazzling smile that you can show off without hesitation.
  • A More Varied Diet: Dental implants provide chewing power that is comparable to that of your natural teeth. As a result, you will be able to eat virtually anything you want, including foods that are often difficult for traditional denture-wearers to handle.
  • An Easier Oral Hygiene Routine: Taking care of dental implants isn’t that much different than taking care of your natural teeth. As such, there’s no need to learn any complex new cleaning techniques to keep your smile safe.
  • Clearer Speech: Denture-wearers often have trouble speaking clearly due to their prostheses slipping when they don’t want them to. Dental implants will help make sure that your new teeth stay secure so that you can continue to speak clearly no matter the situation.

Health Benefits

Bearded man smiling with his arms folded

There are several health benefits to choosing dental implants to fill in the empty space in your smile:

  • Prevention of Bone Loss: Your teeth normally stimulate the jawbone to help it maintain its strength. Consequently, when teeth are missing, bone resorption can occur. Fortunately, dental implants can provide the necessary stimulation to the jaw in order to put a stop to bone loss.
  • Prevention of Dental Drift: Teeth have a tendency to drift toward open space. As such, when there’s a gap in your smile, your remaining teeth may gradually start to move out of alignment. You can avoid dental drift by having the empty space filled with a dental implant.
  • Better Nutrition: An incomplete smile can severely limit your ability to eat a varied diet. But since dental implants allow you to enjoy all kinds of foods, they can make it that much easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Long-Term Benefits

Senior woman with glasses smiling with arms folded

The short-term advantages of dental implants will make themselves known relatively quickly, but the treatment also has a number of important long-term benefits that are worth considering:

  • Prevention of Facial Collapse: The bone loss associated with missing teeth can eventually lead to a sunken facial appearance. Dental implants can help you avoid facial collapse so that you can maintain a more youthful look.
  • High Rate of Success: The success rate of dental implants is as high as 95%, making it a tooth replacement option that you can count on.
  • Longevity: Dental implants don’t have to be replaced as often as traditional dentures and bridges. They may even last the rest of your life if you take the right steps in caring for them.

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Man talking to dental team member about the cost of dental implants

Dental implants are a highly customized treatment, so it can be difficult to predict the cost before we see you for your consultation. There are all sorts of different factors to consider. During your visit with us, we will provide you with an estimate and go over all associated costs, as well as your payment options, like dental insurance. Until then, here are some things for you to take into consideration about the investment that you’re making.

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Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Bone graft for dental implants in Corpus Christi

Any preliminary treatments that you need before you can get dental implants, like gum disease therapy, tooth extractions, and bone grafting, will contribute to the overall cost. For many patients, these treatments are necessary to ensure that the dental implants are successful. Preliminary treatments are sometimes covered by dental insurance, so this is something that you should double-check with your provider. Since we conveniently provide the entire treatment under one roof, you won’t need to worry about working with an outside surgeon and needing to pay for the implant placement separately.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

Dentist pointing to dental implant in Corpus Christi

These are the main factors that will contribute to the cost of your dental implants:

  • Number of dental implants: Depending on the number of your teeth that you need to have replaced and where they are located in the mouth, you will need more or fewer implants. The more implants you need, the higher the cost will be.
  • Type of restoration: Crowns, bridges, and dentures all have different costs. Usually, the smaller the restoration, the lower the cost.
  • Size or material: Implants can be made out of zirconia or titanium. These materials are at different price points.
  • Brand of dental implant: Dental implants come from many different manufacturers. This can influence their cost.

How Dental Implants Can Save You Money

Man smiling at dentist in Corpus Christi

It can be tempting for patients to try to save money by opting for bridges or dentures instead, but dental implants have benefits that you can’t get from other tooth replacement options. They can even help you save money in the long run. You won’t need to worry about paying for replacements every 5 to 7 years either like you would for dentures, and there’s no need to stock up on adhesives or soaking solutions. They can also help you to avoid oral health issues, like gum disease, misalignment issues, and tooth decay, that require costly treatments over time.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Form for dental insurance in Corpus Christi

A lot of the time, dental insurance plans don’t cover the cost of dental implants, but there are some exceptions. Parts of the final or preliminary treatments are often covered. Our team will gladly work with you to help you understand what is and isn’t covered before your treatment begins. This way, we can help you fully maximize your coverage.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Woman calculating cost of dental implants in Corpus Christi

If you don’t have dental insurance, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re completely out of luck. We work with CareCredit – a third-party financing company that can split the cost of your treatment into manageable monthly installments with little to no interest. To learn more about your financial options, talk to one of our friendly team members.

Dental Implants Post-Op Instructions

 woman seeing her new smile after getting dental implants in Corpus Christi

Many patients are worried about what it will be like to recover from dental implant surgery – and understandably so. Our team will provide you with detailed guidelines on what to expect and how to make your recovery as quick and smooth as possible. The details may vary from patient to patient, but below, you’ll find a generalized list of dental implant post-op instructions in Corpus Christi.

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What to Do Directly After Dental Implant Surgery

man sleeping in a bed on his side

Following your procedure, you’ll want to get plenty of rest so as not to hinder your body’s healing process. Some patients are able to return to work the very next day, but if your job involves physical labor, you should ideally take two or three days to recover.

During this period, one of your top priorities should be to protect the blood clots that are forming over the implant sites. You can do this by:

  • Not using tobacco for at least three days (or a week if possible).
  • Avoiding drinking through a straw.
  • Trying not to use too much force when spitting or rinsing your mouth.
  • Refraining from touching the surgical site with your fingers or tongue.

Common Side Effects

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For a few days after getting dental implants in Corpus Christi, you can typically expect these side effects:

  • Swelling – It’s normal for the area near the implant site to swell up, but this should subside after three to seven days. Cold compresses can help greatly.
  • Intermittent bleeding – We’ll show you how and when to change the gauze pads after your procedure to slow the bleeding. Most of it should pass after the first day or so, but the site may bleed occasionally for the next two to three days.
  • Soreness – The area where the implant was placed will probably be sore for the next several days. Make sure to take your prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication as directed.


woman eating yogurt standing in her kitchen

At first, you should only eat foods that don’t require chewing, such as mashed potatoes, pudding, yogurt, and ice cream. As your mouth heals and you grow more comfortable chewing, you can start to add slightly heartier foods to your diet, such as meatloaf and scrambled eggs. Once you’ve worked up to your pre-surgery diet, still be careful not to chew directly at the implant site.

Health & Oral Hygiene

woman brushing her teeth in a mirror

As with any oral surgery, proper hygiene is crucial after dental implant placement. Most patients should be able to brush and floss as normal, but take care to avoid the surgical site. We may prescribe you an antibacterial mouth rinse to use during your recovery. Be sure to use it as instructed, and do NOT spit it out too forcefully.

What to Do After Your New Teeth Are Attached

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After your implant dentist in Corpus Christi has secured your crown, bridge, or denture onto your implants, your new smile is complete! You might experience some sensitivity in your gums for a day or two, but this should be mild and temporary.

Dental Implant FAQ’s

Man with dental implants in Corpus Christi smiling

Are you still curious about dental implants in Corpus Christi? For any specific concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our office and speak with one of our friendly team members. Until then, we’ve also provided the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants! Read on to learn more.

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

We will always ensure that you’re numb and comfortable before beginning the surgery. Most likely, you’ll be sedated for a greater sense of relaxation, plus your jawbone doesn’t contain very many pain-sensing nerves. The only slight discomfort you will experience is a little bit of soreness after the procedure, but this can be easily managed with our prescription or over-the-counter pain medication. Additionally, you can use a cold compress to numb pain and ease swelling. If it seems like your soreness is getting worse instead of better after 2 to 3 days, contact our office right away.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

One of the benefits of dental implants is their predictability. As long as you get this treatment from a skilled implant dentist in Corpus Christi like Dr. Pitarra, your implants will have a success rate of over 95%. Mostly, the success of your dental implants relies on how well you care for your smile, your diet, and maintaining regular dental checkups. Additionally, the success of implants can depend on the location they are placed. For example, molars receive more strain from your daily chewing compared to your front teeth, which could slightly increase their likelihood of failure.

Am I Too Young to Get Dental Implants?

Because your jaw isn’t fully developed until adulthood, dentists won’t use dental implants for anyone under the age of 18. That said, your jaw may not be fully developed until your mid-20’s, which is why the initial examination of your mouth during your consultation is so important. Dental implants need a healthy and strong jawbone in order to function properly. Notably, men’s jaws will typically take longer to develop than women’s do.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Dental Implant Surgery?

As soon as a day after your surgery, you’ll be able to resume your normal activities. However, avoid strenuous exercise during the first week or so because it could delay the healing process. Bleeding will subside after a few days, and your swelling will stop after about 3 to 4 days. Be sure to take our prescribed medication or over the counter medicine to manage any soreness you may have. The healing period is called osseointegration, which can last anywhere from 3 to 6 months.

Will People Be Able to Tell That I Have Dental Implants?

Dental implants and the restorations that come with them are personalized to meet your specific needs. Once your custom-made restorations are placed, they will look just like your original grin. In fact, dental implants allow your crowns or bridges to mimic the way your natural teeth emerge from your gums for the most beautiful smile.