in Melbourne, FL
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed into your jaw to hold a replacement crown or bridge in place. When teeth are missing, the surrounding bone starts to shrink and your jawbone will eventually recede. In order to prevent this from occurring, patients receive an implant. Dental restorations, such as implants, look and feel so natural, that you won’t even know you lost a tooth. Once you have your replacement tooth, you will feel the confidence to show your smile again.
Dental Implant Candidates
Loss of bone density and volume in the past, has prevented the use of implants. Due to advances in dental technology, many patients now qualify to receive a dental implant. Candidates can receive a bone graft before an implant which will ensure the implant is secure in the jaw. They must take proper care of their teeth including brushing, flossing, and scheduling regular cleanings to be considered for this procedure.
Children are not typically candidates for implants since their teeth have not fully matured. Additionally, patients with underlying conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis will need to be in good overall medical health before proceeding with implants. Dr. Brown and Dr. Vaughn will be able to determine if you are a candidate during your visit to Implant Dentistry of Florida.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“Dr. Brown and his staff are great to work with. Everyone is friendly and very helpful and answer the phone when you call. They have the latest equipment and can do same visit crowns. I would recommend them to anyone.” -Liz
Types of Dental Implants
Dental implants are the single most significant advancement in dentistry in the last 50 year. Stable, comfortable and natural looking and feeling artificial replacements can now replace missing teeth. There are many applications for the use of dental implants including replacing single or multiple teeth. Additionally, if patients have dentures they can be permanently anchored by implants.
- Single Tooth Replacement
- Multiple Tooth Replacement
- Full Denture Support
Benefits of Implant Dentistry
Dental implants are regarded as the best solution to missing teeth. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they can prevent bone loss and gum recession that often accompanies bridgework and dentures. More of your own teeth are left untouched, which is an important benefit for your long-term oral health. In addition, dental implants can be beneficial for:
- Enhanced esthetics
- Preservation of adjacent teeth
- Easier eating
- Prevent bone loss
- Appear like normal teeth
- Prevent decay
Risks of Dental Implants
Like all surgical procedures, dental implant surgery does pose a few risks. Complications are rare and, if they do occur, are typically minor and treatable. Risks include:
- Sinus problems caused by the insertion of an implant in the upper jaw
- Nerve damage that causes tingling or numbness in teeth, the lips, gums, or chin
- Injury to blood vessels or surrounding teeth.
Single Tooth Replacement
Traditionally, when a tooth was lost, a fixed bridge was the treatment of choice. With a fixed bridge, the teeth on each side of the missing tooth receive crowns. The missing tooth is connected to the crowns and the fixed bridge is cemented to place. Dental implants now allow you to replace the missing tooth without the need to prepare any other teeth. The implant replaces the missing natural tooth root and the replacement tooth is attached to the implant.
Multiple Tooth Replacement
When many teeth were missing, a partial denture was traditionally the treatment option for patients. Partial dentures are removable and clasp around some remaining teeth. This is often an uncomfortable option. Instead, dental implants can provide a solid foundation for fixed teeth to provide a strong and comfortable alternative.
Full Denture Support
Over 40 million Americans require and suffer with full dentures. Denture adhesives are a billion dollar a year industry trying to solve the problem of loose and slipping dentures. Dental implants can provide a solid foundation to replace loose dentures with teeth that are solid and comfortable, restoring lost confidence.
Dental Implants & Bridges Photos
Upper and lower dental bridges on dental implants after images.
What Are Dental Implants 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.
Do Dental Implants Require Sedation?
Being a minor oral surgery procedure, many people have a misperception that getting dental implants may be painful. The dentist always uses a local anesthetic to numb the nerves in the treatment area. Beyond physical comfort, we believe that patients also deserve to feel emotionally comfortable during their appointments. To ease the sense of anxiety that may develop around dental implant surgery, we offer a few different options for sedation. These include nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. Our team assists patients in determining which method of sedation may suit them best based on their personal comfort level and the extent of their procedure.
How do I prepare for dental implants?
Patients may receive a few preoperative instructions before their procedure-day. Recommendations may include:
- Taking prescribed antibiotics for a few days before surgery.
- Arranging for someone to drive them to their appointment and take them home, if sedation is being administered.
- Rinsing with a special anti-bacterial mouthwash.
- Instructions may be provided for eating based on anesthesia preferences.
Dental Implant Procedure
Placing an implant is quite simple. First, Dr. Brown or Dr. Vaughn will drill a small hole into the bone at the location of the missing tooth. This hole, or osteotomy, is made using highly precise drills and often using a guide to ensure exact placement. Next, they place a titanium alloy screw, the implant, into the prepared site. Then, the implant must heal for 4-5 months. During this time, patients can wear a temporary tooth replacement. Many patients report that they don’t even know the implant is there. After healing is complete, the implant is uncovered with a laser and the final tooth is fabricated. The results look and feel natural. Patients may experience temporary but minor pain which over the counter medication can resolve.
How Long Does the Dental Implant Procedure Take?
The length of time needed for dental implant surgery may vary based on several factors. These include:
- The patient’s dental health
- The location in which implants will be placed
- The number of teeth involved in the treatment
- The need for tooth extractions before implant placement
On average, it can take one to two hours to place a single dental implant. This includes preparation, anesthesia, and brief post-operative recovery.
Dental implant treatment may be a two-phase process. Once the implants are inserted into the mouth, they need to heal within the bone tissue of the jaw. This phase of the process can take several months, after which the implants can be fitted with appropriate long-term restorations.
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.
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.
How to Care for Dental Implants
Dental implants sit beneath the gums but can be degraded by bacteria. It is important to care for replacement teeth as good as one would care for natural teeth.
Dental implant care involves:
- Brush twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Use nonabrasive toothpaste
- Brush carefully around the base of the crown held by the dental implant
- Use an interdental brush as needed to clean hard-to-reach places
- Floss teeth daily
- Use an oral irrigator to clean areas in between teeth and around the base of dental crowns
- See the dentist regularly for exams and cleanings
When dental implants are combined with dentures, care involves:
- Soaking the denture in a recommended cleaner for an appropriate amount of time
- Using a denture brush to clean the underside of the denture
- Inspect clips, caps, and other visible fixtures and call the dentist if a fixture is worn or missing
- Rinse dentures carefully with water before inserting into the mouth
- See the dentist regularly for exams and cleanings
Could My Mouth Reject My New Implants?
The International Congress of Oral Implantologists reports that rejection of dental implants is very rare. The only reason that the body would reject dental implants is an allergy to titanium. Less than 1% of people interested in dental implants are allergic to this biocompatible metal. However, patients must be mindful of the potential for dental implant failure.
Dental implant failure is different than rejection. An implant may fail if the insertion area holds bacteria or if bacteria permeate the gums to accumulate around the titanium post. People who clench or grind their teeth may also have a higher risk of dental implant failure. The dentist may recommend wearing a nightguard when sleeping to mitigate this risk.
Dental Implants & Bridges
Upper dental bridges on dental images after image.
Why Choose Implant Dentistry of Florida?
Dr. Clark Brown has been placing and restoring dental implants since 1982. He is one of the first dentists in the world to become board certified as a Diplomate by the American Board of Oral Implantology / Implant Dentistry. Dr. 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. He is also a Diplomate of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, a Diplomate of the American Society of Osseointegration, a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.
Cost of Tooth Implants
Because of the variety of conditions that led to the need for dental implants in the first place, its cost can vary. 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.
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.
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.
Schedule A Consultation
Whether you need to replace one tooth, multiple teeth or all of your teeth, Implant Dentistry of Florida has the knowledge, technology, and experience to provide you with the optimal outcome. If you would like more information about implant dentistry, contact our office today! Call (321) 372-7700 to schedule a consultation today!