Frequently Asked Questions

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a small titanium tooth root replacement. Dental implants can provide a reliable means to replace a missing tooth, several missing teeth or used to secure loose dentures.

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How is a dental implant placed?

A dental implant is a titanium fixture that is designed to replace a missing tooth root. Just like tooth roots are held in by the bone, a dental implant is also held in by the bone. To place a dental implant, a hole is made into the bone the exact size of the implant fixture. This hole, or osteotomy, is made using highly precise drills and often using a guide to insure exact placement. The implant is then screwed to place. The procedure results in very little, if any, discomfort. In fact, is is usually more painful to have a tooth extracted than to have an implant placed. To learn more about dental implants and to see if they are right for you, call today at 321-259-9429 and schedule an appointment.

Dental Implant Placement
How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants can last a lifetime. While the failure rate is low, dental implants can fail. The typical success rate for dental implants is 95% after seven years. This means that after a seven year period, 95% of all dental implants placed will still be going strong. There are a number of factors that can effect the success of a dental implant. Smoking is a contributing factor as smokers, while still enjoying a high success rate for dental implants, do experience a higher failure rate. Poor oral hygiene leads to tooth loss and can also lead to implant failure. While nothing additional is required to care for dental implants, proper oral hygiene is essential. Some medications, such as Paxil, Prozac, and Lexapro (SSRIs) can interfere with bone metabolism and increase the chance of implant failure from 4.7% to 10.6%. This is still a high success rate for a medical/dental procedure. Dental implants have shown to be a reliable and safe means to replace missing teeth.

What is a dental implant made of?

Dental implants are typically made from Titanium. This is a very strong metal that is fully biocompatible, meaning that it will not be rejected by your body. The surface of the titanium form an oxide, called titanium oxide. This material will bond directly to the bone in a process called osseointegration. Some dental implants have different surface coatings, such as calcium ions or fluoride ions, which are designed to increase the speed of osseointegration. Regardless of the surface coating, all dental implants, properly placed, will integrate into the bone. There are some dental implants made from Zirconia. While Zirconia is white in color, it is still a transitional metal. While Zirconia is strong, it is not as strong or as versatile as titanium.,/p>

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Who does dental implants?

Any dentist with the training and experience can place dental implants. How do you know who has the training and experience in placing dental implants? The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) is the most recognized organization in the world for dental implant education and credentialing. There are three levels of credentialing in the AAID, a member (who has demonstrated interest in dental implants), an associate fellow (who has at least 300 hours of continuing education and 1 year experience), a fellow (who has at least 400 hours of continuing education and 5 years experience and passed examinations). The highest level in implant dentistry is board certification by the American Board of Oral Implantology / Implant Dentistry (ABOI). The ABOI is the only dental implant board certifying organization recognized by the American Board of Dental Specialties. Dentists who have achieved board certification have seven (7) or more years of experience in the practice of implant dentistry and have completed at least 75 implant cases. These dentists have successfully completed both Part I and Part II examination (oral and written) within four (4) years. Dr. Clark Brown is a fellow of the AAID and has been board certified by the ABOI since 1993. He is currently the only dentist in Brevard County to have achieved board certification by the ABOI.

What is the cost of a dental implant?

This is actually a difficult question to answer because of the variety of conditions that led to the need for the dental implant in the first place. It’s like asking how much a car costs. There is a wide variety. Typically, a dental implant itself costs between $1,700 and $3,000. There are number of factors that can add to this cost. Is there sufficient bone? Or is bone grafting necessary prior to the implant placement. Is the need a single implant or multiple implants? What is the final tooth (teeth) going to be? Will implants support a removable denture or fixed teeth? The answers to these questions will determine the actual cost. The only way to truly know the cost is to be examined by an implant dentist. We offer free implant consultations. We will discuss your desires and determine the requirements to achieve these desires. We can then determine the cost to accomplish your goals.

What is bone grafting for dental implants?

While there are a variety of sizes of dental implants, most dental implants require a certain minimum amount of bone for placement. When there is inadequate bone, we can graft bone in the deficient areas. There are numerous grafting materials available. We can use the patient’s own bone from a donor site, bone from a bone bank (cadaver bone), bovine (cow) bone, or a number of synthetic bone substitutes. Each has its advantages and indications. As seen in the picture below, the graft is placed in the area where additional bone is needed. This grafted bone is allowed to heal from three to six months prior to the implant placement. Sometimes, the graft can be done at the same time as implant placement. The patient’s bone grows into the graft and replaces the graft particles with the patient’s own natural bone. Dr. Brown has over 34 years of dental implant and bone grafting experience.

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Can I have dental implants if I don’t have enough bone?

Usually the answer is yes. After years of wearing a denture, the jaw bone tends to shrink. It can shrink so much that dentures will not stay in even with adhesive. They are also painful to chew with. As time goes on, there may be enough shrinkage of bone that dental implants that go into the bone cannot be placed. A subperiosteal implant may be indicated. A subperiosteal implant is a metal framework that rests directly on top of the bone and under the tissue. Posts to support teeth protrude out of the tissue and the denture snaps securely to place. A 3-D image is taken of the jaw and a model is made from this 3-D image. The implant is fabricated along with the teeth. In a single surgery, the implant is placed and the teeth placed at the same time. This can be a life-changing procedure. The subperiosteal implant has been around since the 1940s, however few dentists have ever placed one. Dr. Clark Brown has placed subperiosteal implants since 1982. If your lower denture gives you problems and you do not have a lot of bone, the subperosteal implant may be your best option.

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Can I have dental implants if I am a diabetic?

The short answer is “Yes”.

Diabetes mellitus, a partial or complete insulin deficiency, has become one of the most challenging health problems. Newer medications had improved the ability to maintain proper insulin levels, however not all people with diabetes are compliant or even treated. Dental implants are a reliable means to replace teeth, however it does require successful osseointegration – fusion of the bone to the implant. Studies have shown that dental implant survival rates for well-controlled diabetics is essentially the same as for the non-diabetic patient. Diabetes has a negative influence upon bone formation and remodeling – osseointegration. It would seem that an uncontrolled diabetic may have lower survival rates. However a recent article appearing in the Journal of the American Dental Association (November 2016) reports the results from seven different studies on the long term success rates of dental implants in patients with diabetes. These studies showed that in an uncontrolled diabetic patient, the success rates were the same as those in diabetic patients who were well controlled.

What is a dental crown and can I get a crown in a single visit?

cerec one visit dentistryA dental crown is a restoration that covers the tooth. When the tooth has A very large filling or has part of it broken, a crown is indicated. A crown is simply a covering over top of the tooth and replaces the filling and/or broken pieces. Traditionally, the dentist would prepare your tooth, take an impression and put a temporary crown on the tooth. The impression is sent to the dental laboratory where the crown is made. In two to three weeks, you would return to have the final crown cemented. Today, CAD/CAM technology has entered the dental office. After preparation, the tooth is imaged with a 3-D camera, No messy impression material. The final restoration is designed and is then milled from a block of porcelain or Zirconia. The final crown is then cemented that same day. Usually in about one and a half hours. No temporary crowns and no second visit. Not all dental offices have adopted this technology. Dr. Brown has been using this single visit crown fabrication (CEREC) since 2006 and is a CEREC instructor, teaching other dentists how to use this technology in their practices.

Why should wisdom teeth be removed?

Many times, there is not enough room in your mouth to accommodate the proper positioning of wisdom teeth. These teeth are usually tipped forward. As the forn, they can push on the teeth in front of them. This can cause crowding of the lower front teeth. More drastically, they can lead to decay on the second molars which can result in the loss of not only the wisdom tooth, but the second molar as well. A simple radiograph can determine if the wisdom teeth can cause future problems. If so, it should be removed early.

wisdom teeth melbourne fl

* Photo Courtesy of Howard Farran, DDS

Why are teeth important?

Teeth provide a means of chewing food so that it can be properly digested. The incisors (front teeth) are designed for biting into food and the molars (back teeth) are designed to do the chewing. Many people are only concerned about the front teeth for their looks and are quick to have bad back teeth removed. This is a recipe for future disaster. The back teeth are large and have multiple roots. The front teeth have a single root. Front teeth were not designed for chewing. When back teeth are lost, excessive pressure is placed on the front teeth and they will be prematurely lost. As teeth are lost, there are changes in the bones of the jaws. They shrink. As they shrink, there is loss of facial height. This leads to inefficiency of the muscles for chewing and also gives an older facial appearance. If you want to maintain a healthy digestive system and a more youthful appearance, you’ll try to save all your teeth. If you have lost some or all of them, dental implants may provide a reliable means to restore proper function and appearance.

teeth and bone loss

What is Invisalign invisible braces? Why should I get them?

This video will show you what Invisalign is and how it straightens teeth. Many people had braces as a child but as they got older and stopped wearing their retainer, their teeth started moving and became misaligned again. Invisalign is usually a great solution to get teeth straight again. Misaligned tooth are more difficult to keep clean and have an increased chance of developing decay and/or periodontal disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the bone and tissue that support your teeth. It is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal disease is usually painless and you may not know you have it. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

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Warning signs that can indicate periodontal disease:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gum tissue recession
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Teeth that are loose or moving
  • Any change in your bite

Factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease.

  • Poor home care
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Genetics
  • Crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Dry mouth
  • Medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives.
What is Pinhole Gum Surgery?

Pinhole surgery, developed by Dr. Chao, is a revolutionary new procedure for correcting receding gums. Not only can receding gums become unsightly, they can lead to tooth loss. Regaining attached gum tissue is essential to a healthy mouth and teeth. Pinhole surgery is done without sutures or donor tissue grafting. The result is a great tissue coverage without the pain associated with traditional palatal donor grafting. Dr. Clark Brown has ben certified by the Chao Academy in this technique.

Conventional Gum Grafting vs Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique

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