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Posts for tag: dental implants

By Rick K. Harrison, DMD, PA
January 28, 2019
Category: Oral Health
FlossingDailyAroundImplantswillHelpPreventLosingYourBridge

Implant-supported fixed bridges are growing in popularity because they offer superior support to traditional bridges or dentures. They can also improve bone health thanks to the affinity between bone cells and the implants' titanium posts.

Even so, you'll still need to stay alert to the threat of periodontal (gum) disease. This bacterial infection usually triggered by dental plaque could ultimately infect the underlying bone and cause it to deteriorate. As a result the implants could loosen and cause you to lose your bridgework.

To avoid this you'll need to be as diligent with removing plaque from around your implants as you would with natural teeth. The best means for doing this is to floss around each implant post between the bridgework and the natural gums.

This type of flossing is quite different than with natural teeth where you work the floss in between each tooth. With your bridgework you'll need to thread the floss between it and the gums with the help of a floss threader, a small handheld device with a loop on one end and a stiff flat edge on the other.

To use it you'll first pull off about 18" of dental floss and thread it through the loop. You'll then gently work the sharper end between the gums and bridge from the cheek side toward the tongue. Once through to the tongue side, you'll hold one end of the floss and pull the floss threader away with the other until the floss is now underneath the bridge.

You'll then loop each end of the floss around your fingers on each hand and work the floss up and down the sides of the nearest tooth or implant. You'll then release one hand from the floss and pull the floss out from beneath the bridge. Rethread it in the threader and move to the next section of the bridge and clean those implants.

You can also use other methods like specialized floss with stiffened ends for threading, an oral irrigator (or "water flosser") that emits a pressurized spray of water to loosen plaque, or an interproximal brush that can reach into narrow spaces. If you choose an interproximal brush, however, be sure it's not made with metal wire, which can scratch the implant and create microscopic crevices for plaque.

Use the method you and your dentist think best to keep your implants plaque-free. Doing so will help reduce your risk of a gum infection that could endanger your implant-supported bridgework.

If you would like more information on implant-supported bridges, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Hygiene for Fixed Bridgework.”

By Rick K. Harrison, DMD, PA
December 19, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
UsingSinusSurgerytoStimulateBoneGrowthforImplants

For a predictable outcome, a dental implant should be placed as soon as the bone and gum tissues following a tooth extraction have healed. But what happens if the tooth has been missing for months or years? You might then run the risk of not having enough bone to properly place an implant.

This can happen because of a disruption in the growth cycle of living bone tissue. As older bone cells dissolve (resorption), new bone develops to take its place. This is a dynamic process, as the amount and exact location of the new growth is in response to changes in the mouth, particularly from forces generated by the teeth as we chew. If, however, this stimulation transmitted to the bone no longer occurs because the tooth is missing, the bone will tend to dissolve over time.

In fact, within the first year after a tooth loss the associated bone can lose as much as a quarter of its normal width. This is why we typically place bone grafting material in an empty socket at the same time as we extract the tooth. This encourages bone growth during the healing period in anticipation of installing a dental implant or a fixed bridge. If, however, the bone has diminished to less than required for a dental implant, we must then use techniques to encourage new bone growth to support a future implant.

One such technique for restoring bone in the back of the upper jaw is to surgically access the area through the maxillary sinus (a membrane-lined air space within the bone structure of the face) positioned just over the jawbone to place grafting material. During surgery performed usually with local anesthesia, the surgeon accesses the sinus cavity, lifts the tissue membrane up from the sinus floor and applies the grafting material on top of the bone. Eventually, the new bone growth will replace the grafting material.

If successful, the new bone growth will be sufficient to support an implant. Thanks to this renewed growth, you’ll soon be able to enjoy better function and a transformed smile provided by your new implant.

If you would like more information on forming new bone for implants through sinus surgery, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sinus Surgery.”

By Rick K. Harrison, DMD, PA
December 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

No other tooth restoration method offers the benefits that dental implants do. Implants don't just fill the gaps in your smile but also keep your jaw strong and healthy. Your Jacksonville Beach, FL, dentist Dr. Rick Harrison helps you care for your smile with regular exams and a full range of dental services and treatments, including dental implants.

Why are dental implants an excellent choice?

Dental implants offer several important advantages that can make them the ideal choice for Jacksonville Beach residents, such as:

  • Comfort: Dental implants replace your natural roots and are made of titanium, a metal that bonds to bone easily. Thanks to this unique bonding ability, your new tooth is securely attached to your jawbone just like your natural teeth. There's no slipping or irritation when you eat, and you probably won't be able to difference between your implants and your natural teeth.
  • Appearance: The dental crown attached to the top of your implant is made from an impression of your mouth to ensure that your new tooth fits the gap in your smile perfectly. Dental implants also help you maintain your appearance. If you don't replace missing teeth, your remaining teeth will soon shift position, leading to overlapping and crowding. As your teeth move, your bite may change, and you may find it more difficult to remove cavity-causing plaque from your teeth. Dental implants prevents shifting, ensuring that your smile doesn't change.
  • Strength: Shifting teeth aren't the only consequences of tooth loss. After you lose a tooth, your jawbone may begin to shrink during a process called resorption. The problem occurs because a portion of your jawbone is no longer stimulated by your tooth roots. Your new dental implants keep your jawbone strong by providing constant stimulation.
  • Longevity: Full dentures and bridges must be replaced every 10 to 15 years, which can be costly if you must replace them several times throughout your life. Most dental implants will last your entire lifetime, which can make them a less expensive choice when you calculate lifetime costs.

Restore your smile with dental implants! Call your Jacksonville Beach, FL, dentist Dr. Rick Harrison at (904) 241-4237 to schedule your appointment.

By Rick K. Harrison, DMD, PA
October 12, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental Implant SmileHow dental implants from your dentist in Jacksonville Beach, Florida can rebuild your smile

Are you missing teeth? If so, you may be thinking about bridges, partials, or dentures to restore your smile. Before you make the choice, think about a new, state-of-the-art option. Think about dental implants! Dr. Rick Harrison at Jax Beach Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Jacksonville Beach, Florida wants to share how you can restore and rebuild your smile with dental implants.

So, what’s so special about dental implants? Dental implants look and function just like natural teeth, which sets them apart from other tooth replacement solutions. The dental implant screw is inserted in your jaw during a simple in-office procedure. Your body creates more bone which surrounds the implant screw and locks it in place. The dental implant screw will function as the “root” of your missing tooth.

After the area has healed, Dr. Harrison will place a beautiful implant crown on top of the implant screw, giving you a new tooth! The implant will look just like your natural tooth because the implant crown is made of a material that reflects light, just like tooth enamel. The natural beauty of dental implants is just one reason why people choose dental implants over other tooth replacement methods. Other benefits include:

  • Complete stability because the dental implant is firmly embedded in bone
  • Easy maintenance because you brush and floss your implant along with your teeth
  • Lasting beauty because dental implants resist staining and will never decay

Whether you choose to replace a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, you can count on success with dental implants. That’s because they boast a success rate of over 95 percent, the highest of any surgical implant, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

If you want to complete your smile, there is no better choice than dental implants! To find out more about dental implants and other restorative and cosmetic dental services call Dr. Rick Harrison at Jax Beach Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Jacksonville Beach, Florida today!

By Rick K. Harrison, DMD, PA
August 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
ASolutionforRestoringAdequateBoneforDentalImplants

Dental implants are considered the best tooth replacement option available. An implant replaces the root of a tooth and allows for the replacement of the crown via attachments or abutments. They not only look like a real tooth, they function like one too.

Implants, though, for some are a significant investment and may be well beyond a person's financial means if they've experienced a sudden tooth loss. For that reason, many opt for a less expensive tooth replacement option like a removable partial denture.

Later when they can afford it, a person might consider an implant. But this could pose a complication. When a tooth is missing for some time, the underlying bone doesn't rejuvenate normally because it no longer receives stimulation from the tooth. Over time, the amount of bone may diminish. Restorations like dentures can't stop this bone loss and actually aggravates it.

For proper positioning, an implant requires a certain amount of bone volume. So, it's quite possible when the time comes to replace the old restoration with an implant that there may not be enough bone available.

We may be able to overcome this bone loss with bone grafting and regeneration. A specialist such as a periodontist or oral surgeon accesses the area surgically and inserts bone graft material, usually processed material that's completely safe. Properly placed, the bone graft serves as a scaffold that, along with growth stimulators, encourages bone cells to grow.

When the bone grafting has healed enough, we're then able to place the implant. Once imbedded in the bone, one of the implant's unique qualities comes into play. The imbedded post is made of the metal titanium, which is not only bio-compatible with body tissues, it also has an affinity with bone. Bone cells will easily grow and adhere to the implant surface. This further boosts bone growth in the area and strengthens the implant's hold.

These extra procedures to build back lost bone do add to the cost and time for installing an implant. But if you're ready for a more permanent restoration for a missing tooth — not to mention better bone health — the extra time and money will be well worth it.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.