DENTAL IMPLANTS IN BOCA RATON, FL
Tooth Replacement solution
Tooth loss is common among adults in the United States. One of the most popular options for replacing missing teeth is dental implants. This tooth replacement solution has been used for more than 30 years and statistics show that more than 5 million dental implants are placed in the United States annually.
Dental implants are a 3-part tooth replacement solution:
- Implant: The screw that acts as an artificial root for the replacement tooth
The post that connects the implant and the crown.
- Crown: the artificial tooth that connects to the abutment, usually made of porcelain that is made to match the shape and color of your natural teeth
Dental implants can also be used to create a stable base for removable dentures, partial dentures, full dentures, and dental bridges.
At Wolf Schwartz Dentistry in Boca Raton, we have many patients who have experienced tooth loss and needed dental implants. There are only two certified Implantologists in Boca Raton, and Dr. Schwartz is one of them.
Causes of Missing Teeth
Most children lose their baby teeth by the age of 12. The secondary, or permanent, teeth that come in after that are meant to last. However, this isn’t always the case. There are several reasons for tooth loss, including the following:
The most common cause of cavities, or tooth decay, is a lack of proper oral care, poor oral hygiene habits, and poor nutrition. If a cavity is not addressed in a timely manner, it will continue to cause deterioration of the affected tooth, which will ultimately result in tooth loss.
One of the best ways to detect early signs of tooth decay is with regular dental visits and cleanings every 6 months. If severe decay is detected, tooth extraction and dental implants may be the only option- especially in adults over the age of 65.
Periodontal disease is a severe form of gum disease. As your gums begin to wear away, bacteria and plaque can get under the gums, which causes inflammation. If left untreated, it can cause the bone around the teeth to deteriorate. This may ultimately lead to the affected teeth loosening, falling out, or requiring extraction.
Age & Medications
Many of our patients have healthy teeth and only have minor cavities throughout their lives. However, as mentioned, tooth loss is common in adults in the United States and patients over the age of 55 are more susceptible to tooth loss.
If you are taking medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease, your risk of tooth loss increases because these medications cause dry mouth, which can speed up tooth decay.
Tooth loss may also be caused by a fall, a car accident, or other injuries to the face/mouth.
In some cases, the natural tooth can be salvaged, even if it has been knocked out- but if the tooth cannot be restored, a dental implant may be necessary.
Two Primary Types of Dental Implants
At Wolf Schwartz Dentistry, we offer two primary types of dental implants:
Today, the most popular type of dental implants that are used are endosteal implants.
In this case, the titanium implants are surgically inserted into the jawbone. Eventually, osseointegration will occur, which is where the jawbone bonds with the screw.
This type of dental implant is rarely used- but is an option for patients who do not have enough natural jawbone density to support endosteal implants.
In this case, the implant is placed under the gums, on top of or slightly above the jawbone instead of being surgically implanted into the jawbone.
Common Uses for Dental Implants
The team at Wolf Schwartz Dentistry uses dental implants to replace a single tooth, as well as to create a stable foundation for other tooth replacement options, such as implant-supported bridges, implant-supported dentures, partials, All-on-4 and All-on-6 dental implants, and more.
Three of the most common uses are:
Single tooth implant
A single tooth implant is ideal for patients who are missing one tooth and want to replace it for comfort, function, and aesthetic purposes. A single tooth implant requires one crown connected to the implant screw. On average, a single tooth implant costs between $3,000 to $4,000. This does not include other procedures that may be required such as bone grafts, sinus augmentation, x-rays, and more.
For patients who are missing several teeth in a row, an implant-supported bridge may be the best option. Traditional bridges use crowns placed on the neighboring teeth on each side of the gap, but an implant-supported bridge uses dental implants as an anchor.
This type of dental bridge prevents the neighboring teeth from shifting into the space, as well as improves your ability to eat, speak, smile, and laugh. The average cost of implant-supported bridges, not including other procedures is between $5,000 and $16,000.
All-on-4 Dental Implants
Patients who are missing all of their teeth may want to consider All-on-4 or All-on-6 dental implants as a tooth replacement solution. This will restore a full arch (upper or lower) of teeth.
Depending on the size of your jaw, Dr. Schwartz will insert 4 or 6 implants into your jawbone. Then, an overdenture is permanently attached to the posts. It can only be removed by the dentist for cleanings and dental exams. The average cost of All-on-4 dental implants without other procedures is between $15,000 and $20,000 per arch.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Dental Implants
Dr. Schwartz and the dental team at Wolf Schwartz Dentistry want you to be informed about the advantages and disadvantages of dental implants.
- Dental implants look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. This means you can chew, speak, smile, and laugh normally.
- Since they look like natural teeth, dental implants boost your confidence.
- Dental implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, so stress on your natural teeth is reduced.
- Dental implants preserve bone density, giving you a youthful appearance.
- Dental implants prevent bone loss.
- Since dental implants are the most like natural teeth, they are easy to clean and care for.
- When properly maintained, dental implants can last 15 to 25 years- much longer than dentures and dental bridges.
- Dental implants will not whiten like natural teeth.
- Invasive oral surgery is required for placement of dental implants.
- Dental implants are the most expensive tooth replacement option- but the benefits typically outweigh the cost.
- Some patients require additional procedures such as sinus lifting or bone grafting for dental implants to be placed.
Risk Factors Associated with Dental Implants
While most dental implant procedures are successful and patients experience no issues, it is important to note that in some cases, the implant will heal incorrectly and possibly fail. Patients who smoke are susceptible to implant failure. The best way to reduce your risk of implant failure is to practice good oral hygiene habits, which include proper brushing and flossing. In addition, you want to make sure you’re getting adequate nutrition.
Following dental implant surgery, minor discomfort is common. Some of the other common issues that will not threaten the success of the implant procedure are:
- Swelling of gums and face
- Bruises on gums and face
- Minor bleeding
- Pain at surgical site
Some patients experience more serious risks after implant placement, including:
- Damage to surrounding teeth, gums, and blood vessels
- Implant site infection
- Sinus issues/pressure (especially if the implant is placed in the upper jaw)
- Nerve damage, which may cause tingling in mouth/lips
- Prolonged bleeding
- Jaw pain
- Fractured jaw
Dental Implant Surgery Steps
The first step in any dental procedure is to schedule your consultation with Dr. Schwartz and the team at Wolf Schwartz Dentistry. He will examine your mouth, take x-rays, and ask you some questions about your medical history. Once it is determined that you qualify for dental implants, you will discuss whether you need endosteal or subperiosteal implants.
The team will work with you to determine if you will require additional procedures as well, such as tooth extractions, bone grafting, or sinus lifting before placing the implant. An impression of your mouth will be taken to determine the placement of the implant.
At this time, you will also have a chance to bring up any questions or concerns you have about the process. If you suffer from anxiety over dental procedures, please let us know and we can offer you sedation when you come in for the surgery instead of local anesthesia.
If the dental implant is replacing a tooth that is damaged beyond repair, we will schedule an appointment to extract that tooth. You will need time to heal after the extraction before moving forward with the implant placement or additional procedures.
If your jawbone does not have the bone density required to accommodate an implant, we will schedule a bone grafting surgery. At this time, bone will be taken from another part of your body and added to the jawbone to prepare it for the implant. In some cases, synthetic material may be used. If major bone grafting is required, you’ll need at least 4 months to heal, possibly up to 1 year to heal. If only minor bone grafting is needed, it can be done at the same time as the implant placement.
Placement of Dental Implants
Once you have healed from tooth extractions and bone grafting, dental implants can be placed. Dr. Schwartz will start by cutting into your gum and then drilling a tiny hole in the jawbone where the titanium screw will be placed. This will act as a tooth root and support the crown. You should not feel it while it is healing. Typically, it will take 4 to 7 months for the jawbone to osseointegrate with the implant.
Dental implant surgery typically takes at least several months and may take up to 1 year and goes something like this:
Placement of Healing Cap
Once the jawbone has fused around the implant, a healing cap will be placed, even with your gum. This will guide the gum to heal around it to prepare for the abutment and crown to be attached. This usually takes no more than 2 weeks.
Placement of Abutment & Temporary Crown
Once your gum tissue has healed around the healing cap, Dr. Schwartz will remove it and place the abutment on the implant. A temporary crown will be attached to the abutment and will remain in place for 4 to 6 weeks, giving your gums time to heal properly.
Placement of Permanent Crown
During the time that you are wearing the temporary crown, a permanent one will be made to match your natural teeth. This crown will be screwed or cemented to the abutment.
While this process does take time, each step is manageable. Most patients only need local anesthesia. However, patients who experience dental anxiety may need sedation to get through the procedure. Keep in mind that you can expect some soreness, swelling, and minor discomfort.
Aftercare for Dental Implants
You will be provided with antibiotics and pain medications to be used during the healing process. This will prevent infection and will also help you deal with the soreness and discomfort. Also, you’ll want to make sure that you’re practicing good oral hygiene habits and eating soft foods. You may also want to restrict caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol use during this time for best results.
For the first few months, you’ll need to schedule regular check-ups so that Dr. Schwartz can monitor your healing. After healing, you’ll want to keep up with dental exams and cleanings every 6 months, as well as keeping up good oral hygiene habits.
Are You a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent tooth replacement option. After all, the screw is inserted into your jawbone, so it becomes a part of your jaw- just like a tooth root. Therefore, it’s not going to slip and slide in your mouth, cause damage to your jawbone, or make noise when you’re eating and speaking.
How do you know if you are a good candidate for dental implants? If the following applies to you, we can consider scheduling you for this procedure at Wolf Schwartz Dentistry.
- Missing one or more teeth
- Your jawbone is no longer growing
- Adequate jawbone density to support an implant or healthy enough for bone graft/sinus augmentation surgery
- Healthy oral tissues
- No underlying health issues that may affect healing
- Can’t or don’t want to wear dentures
- Willing to invest the time it takes to complete the process
Schedule Your Consultation Today
There are two certified Implantologists in Boca Raton, and we are lucky to have one of them at Wolf Schwartz Dentistry. Dr. Schwartz received his Implantologist certification in 2001 from the American Board of Dental Implantology. We are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Schedule your consultation today and let us give you back your smile and your confidence.
DO YOU NEED DENTAL IMPLANTS IN BOCA RATON, FL?
It is important that we are staying on top of the latest techniques in dental care so you can receive a naturally beautiful smile. Dental implants are great for restoring your self-confidence and ability to smile again. Contact us today to get started!