A dental implant is an artificial tooth root. It is the most popular tooth replacement option for patients who are missing teeth due to loss or extraction. The implant is a titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone. Over time, osseointegration occurs, which is the process of the bone healing around and bonding with the implant. This creates a stable base for a dental crown.
An abutment is placed on top of the implant, which secures the crown to the implant. This can also be used to secure dental bridges, partial dentures, full dentures, and removable dentures.
Dental implants have been used for more than three decades. According to research, over 5 million implants are placed annually in the United States.
The dental implant body is made of three pieces:
There are two primary types of dental implants:
Depending on your needs, we offer a few different dental implant options at Sunflower Dental Spa.
A single dental implant is an ideal solution for patients who are missing one tooth and want to replace it for comfort, function, and aesthetics.
All-on-4 dental implants are ideal for patients who are missing all of their teeth on one or both arches. This allows a denture plate to be affixed to 4 dental implants. Two implants are placed in the front and two are placed in the back at a 45°angle.
All-on-6 dental implants is also ideal for patients who are missing all of their teeth on one or both arches. It is similar to the All-on-4 option, only 6 implants are used instead of 4. This is typically recommended for patients with a larger-than-normal arch or needing more support due to decreased jawbone density.
There are several steps involved in implant dentistry, also known as implantology. It typically takes several months to more than a year to complete the process.
Dr. Wetmore has the experience and expertise necessary to ensure successful dental implant placement. She graduated in 2010 from Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine with her doctorate. Upon graduation, she began practicing in Brevard County.
The steps for getting a dental implant are:
Dr. Wetmore will start by performing a comprehensive dental exam and reviewing your medical history. She will examine the bone structure, nerves, and sinuses in the affected area. Typically, this will involve x-rays- but in some cases, other scans are needed.
If you have any questions or concerns about any part of the procedure, the time to bring them up is at the consultation. This will also be the time to inform us if you have dental anxiety and require sedation options.
Your teeth and gums will be carefully examined. If you require additional procedures such as bone grafting, extraction, periodontal treatment, or anything else, those will be taken care of before the implant is placed.
It is important to note that if you require bone graft surgery, it could delay the implant placement because it may take 3 months to a year for the bone graft to heal. If you only need minor bone grafting, you may be able to have the implant placed at the same time.
Another procedure that may delay implant placement is extractions. Typically, patients must wait for 1 to 2 months after having an extraction before an implant can be placed. In some cases, it is possible to do it on the same day.
Implant placement is an outpatient procedure, which means you will not require a hospital stay. In most cases, it can be done right in the clinic. Most patients only require a local anesthetic to numb the affected area. However, if you have dental anxiety, we offer sedation options to reduce your stress.
An incision will be made into the gum to expose the jawbone. Then, a tiny hole will be drilled into the bone where the implant will be placed. Once the implant is placed, the gum will be secured over it so that it is protected from debris while healing.
The healing process may take 4 to 6 months. During this time, the bone will fuse with the implant, making it a permanent part of your mouth.
Once the jawbone has fused with the implant, the abutment will be installed. This is the piece that attaches the crown to the implant. It sits above the gum line. The gum will need to be cut open for this to be done. Once in place, the gum will be closed around but not over it.
A temporary crown or healing cap will be placed to cover the abutment. Your gum tissue should heal in about 2 weeks. At this point, your permanent crown will be made.
Once your mouth is healed, Dr. Wetmore will take some new impressions of your mouth. This will ensure that the crown is the appropriate size and shape to blend in with the rest of your natural teeth.
The crown will be colored to match the rest of your teeth as well. Most patients prefer for their artificial teeth to look as natural as possible. Some patients may want to be flashy and choose a gold- or silver-colored crown.
After each step, your body will need to recover. You may have some minor discomfort, including:
These symptoms should begin to subside over the few days following treatment. If they do not subside or get worse, contact the office and we will have you come in for an emergency appointment to determine what is happening. You may require antibiotics or stronger pain medication.
For the first few days, you'll want to avoid hard/chewy foods and try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth. This allows your implants to have time to settle. Once recovery is complete, you will be able to go back to your normal diet. Implants function just like natural teeth.
In order to keep your implants and remaining natural teeth in good condition, you'll need to practice good oral hygiene habits. A water flosser may be better than dental floss to gently clean around your implants.
Dental implants are the best option for replacing missing teeth because they look, feel, and function like natural teeth. If you don't tell someone that you have an artificial tooth, they will not be able to tell the difference. There are several benefits of dental implants:
Your jawbone requires stimulation from your tooth roots to maintain density. When you are missing teeth, you lose that stimulation. A dental implant acts as a tooth root, restoring that stimulation, which encourages bone health.
Many patients are concerned about tooth replacement solutions matching their remaining natural teeth. Dental implants are not a standard treatment- they are customized to look like your teeth.
When you're missing teeth, it can be a struggle to eat your favorite foods. Since dental implants are inserted into the jawbone, it allows you to bite with a similar force that you could with your natural teeth.
Some of the tooth replacement options impact your speech. However, since dental implants are secured to your jawbone and won't move around in your mouth, you will be able to speak clearly.
If you are missing teeth and you do not replace them, your jawbone will begin to deteriorate. This will cause your face to begin to sag, making you look older. Dental implants preserve the jawbone and therefore, your facial structure.
You will care for your dental implants just like you would your natural teeth. Simply practice good oral hygiene and brush, floss, and use mouthwash daily.
Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. Other tooth replacement options may need to be replaced within 10 to 15 years.
A single dental implant typically costs between $1,500 to $6,000, while full-mouth implants cost around $40,000 or more. All-on-4 and All-on-6 typically start at around $15,000.
Your dental insurance may cover at least a portion of this procedure. Our friendly office staff will work with your provider to determine coverage. In addition to accepting a variety of insurances, we also accept CareCredit for patients who are unable to pay for dental expenses out-of-pocket.
We want you to be able to get the dental treatment you need, so we will work with you to help you find the best solution.
Most of our patients at Sunflower Dental Spa are eligible for dental implants. However, there are some cases where this is not an appropriate treatment. There are four factors that impact your eligibility to receive dental implants:
The health of your gums and jawbone is important for the success of dental implants. The jawbone fuses with the implant to hold it in place. If you don't have enough density to secure the implant, it may fail. In some cases, a bone graft can be done.
The gum tissue also supports and protects the implant and provides a platform for the crown. If your gums are not healthy due to conditions such as periodontal disease, dental implants will not be successful. If periodontal disease is not treated, the gum tissue will continue to be lost.
Since dental implants need a firm foundation, changes to the size or shape of the jaw could impact the success of the implant. Therefore, implants are not typically done on patients under the age of 18. There is no upper limit on age for getting implants. In fact, as long as there are no risk factors and the patient's jaw is healthy, implants can be done in patients over the age of 80.
It is very important that you are aware of the risks/side effects of your medications before considering any surgical procedure. You should especially be aware of medications that affect anesthesia.
You should avoid aspirin and NSAID pain relievers for one week prior to surgery. Also, make sure to discuss your medications with Dr. Wetmore and the team so that we can let you know what is safe and what is not. If you need to take something for pain before the procedure, acetaminophen can be used.
There are other habits and health conditions that could be risk factors for dental implant surgery. Tobacco and alcohol use can inhibit healing and smoke promotes dry mouth, increasing the risk of infection. You should abstain from these and other recreational drugs to reduce your risk of rejection.
Systemic diseases such as Parkinson's, diabetes, and other autoimmune diseases also increase your risk of infection and other complications. Osteoporosis and medications for osteoporosis increase the risk of complications as well. Finally, patients with psychological problems may be denied implants if they are unable to properly care for them.
If you are missing teeth or need to have teeth extracted, schedule your visit to Sunflower Dental Spa today. Dr. Wetmore and the team will help you decide if dental implants are an appropriate tooth replacement option for you.
We are not your average dental clinic. We combine dentistry with the relaxing atmosphere of a day spa. We offer massaging chairs, pillows/blankets, and many more amenities to help you relax. We believe that a visit to the dentist should be a pleasant experience- not a stressful one.
We are located on US Highway 1 in Rockledge, Florida. Our hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you restore your smile and confidence.
At Sunflower Dental Spa, our patients often have questions about dental implant surgery. Some of the most common questions we get are: