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Dental Implants – Jacksonville, FL

The Peak of
Dental Artistry

At Distinctive Dentistry by Mullens & Nguyen, we believe that all of our patients should have access to the best restorative treatments available to them, which is why we offer start-to-finish dental implant treatment at our dental office. This procedure allows us to restore the entire structure of any number of missing teeth, providing countless benefits that aren’t offered by any other traditional restorative procedure. To learn whether you’re a good candidate for this advanced service, call our dental office today to schedule a consultation to discuss tooth replacement with dental implants in Jacksonville, FL.

Why Choose Distinctive Dentistry by Mullens & Nguyen for Dental Implants?

  • Compassionate & Highly Skilled Dentists
  • In-House Guided Implant Surgery
  • Artistically Crafted Dental Restorations

What are
Dental Implants?

Animated tooth and dental implant supported dental crown

Dental implants are small, titanium posts that are surgically placed below the gumline and into the jawbone. Due to the biocompatible nature of the metal that they’re made from, they naturally fuse with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, providing restorations with a stable and secure foundation to be attached to. Because they don’t just restore the biting surface of missing teeth like other prosthetics, they’re able to offer several unique benefits that make the procedure so popular, such as jawbone and facial preservation.

The 4-Step Dental Implant Process

Dentist describing the dental implant process

Not every dental implant process is the same. After all, no two smiles are exactly the same! The exact steps you’ll need to take on your journey towards your brand-new smile will depend on a variety of factors, including your current oral health and how many dental implants you’re having placed. That being said, while every patient’s treatment plan is unique, there are four main steps to complete during the dental implant process. Read on to learn more about what you can expect!

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Jacksonville implant dentist and patient discussing treatment plans

The whole process starts with a conversation. When you visit us for your consultation, we’ll take the time to discuss your goals for your smile with you, address your concerns, and answer your questions. Next we’ll examine your oral health, take some X-rays, and review your medical history to see if dental implants are a good choice for you. Some patients will need preliminary treatments like a bone graft or gum disease therapy to become good candidates. Once you’ve been given the green light, we’ll create a custom-tailored dental implant treatment plan for you moving forward.

Dental Implant Surgery

Digital diagram of a dental implant in Jacksonville

The next step is to have your dental implants placed into your jawbone. Since this requires a minor but precise oral surgery, most other practices need to refer their patients out for this step. We’re proud to save you the time, money, and hassle by offering start-to-finish dental implant treatment all right here at our office with a team you already know and trust. Not only do Dr. Mullens and Dr. Nguyen have advanced dental implant training, but they utilize state-of-the-art technology for computer-guided dental implant surgery to ensure you get the best possible results.

First, Dr. Mullens and Dr. Nguyen will plan out your dental implant surgery via special software to precisely determine where your dental implant should be positioned. Then, a surgical guide is created from this information. On the day of your procedure, we’ll ensure you’re comfortable with dental sedation and then place the guide in your mouth. Your implant dentist will make a small incision in the gums at the predetermined location, insert the implant into the jawbone, and then suture the gums closed again. Afterwards, you’ll be sent home to heal.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment Placement

Digital diagram of a dental implant in Jacksonville

After your surgery, you’ll typically need a few days to a week or two to feel fully recovered. However, your jawbone will continue to heal for many more months. Over the next four to six months, your dental implant will integrate with the bone tissue in a natural process called osseointegration, creating a strong, solid foundation. Once that’s complete, we’ll attach a small, metal connector piece to your implant, called an abutment.

Delivery of Dental Implant Restorations

Woman admiring her new dental implants in Jacksonville

When your custom-made crown, bridge, or denture has been created, we’ll call you back to our office for the last step of the dental implant process. We’ll connect your new restoration to your implants via the abutments and check to ensure everything looks and feels right. Then, you’ll be all set to go out and show off your new smile!

Benefits of
Dental Implants

Woman smiling with her arms crossed inside

Dental implants offer a wide array of unique benefits that make them stand out among traditional restorative treatments. In fact, over 500,000 people choose this amazing tooth replacement each year for their lifestyle, health, and aesthetic advantages. If you’re looking for a reason to get dental implants, we’re here to help! There are many benefits of dental implants in Jacksonville, which is why we’ve included the most significant ones below.

Day-to-Day Benefits

Middle-aged man biting into a red apple
  • Diet: Missing teeth and ill-fitting dentures can make it difficult to eat the foods you love. However, dental implants allow you to consume your favorite delicious and nutritious foods for better quality of life and health!
  • Confidence: Have you stopped smiling in public settings due to your smile’s appearance? Dental implants look and feel just like natural teeth, giving you the confidence that you need to show off your grin for work or family events. Plus, you’ll enjoy a boost in self-esteem.
  • Maintenance: Tired of taking your dentures out to clean and soak them? Or maybe you’ve been struggling with keeping the gaps in your smile clean? Dental implants can be cared for similar to your natural teeth, making it easy to keep your smile healthy and clean!

Health Benefits

Older couple smiling with woman’s arms around man outside
  • Bone health: Your teeth stimulate your jaw to maintain its health and strength. When you lose teeth, the stimulation decreases, which causes the jawbone to deteriorate over time. This will lead to a sunken facial appearance and additional tooth loss. However, dental implants save your smile by stimulating the jaw to keep it from shrinking!
  • Dental health: Dental implants in Jacksonville help with every part of your smile. They keep your remaining teeth in place by filling spaces, lowering your risk of misalignment. Plus, they make it easier to care for your oral health, which helps you avoid cavities and infection.
  • Overall health: Because dental implants promote better oral health, they also help your body! Recent studies show a direct link between dental health and overall well-being, specifically with gum disease. Dental implants lower risk of gum disease to decrease your chance of developing problems like heart disease, diabetes, and more.

Long-Term Benefits

Man in plaid shirt smiling outside
  • Predictability: Many people learn that dental implants require surgery with an implant dentist in Jacksonville and get worried. However, this treatment has a success rate of 95% even after 10 years! This gives you peace of mind and confidence in your tooth replacement.
  • Longevity: Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants can last for decades. Even more impressive, they can last for the rest of your lifetime with proper care. Just be sure to brush, floss, and visit our office regularly to keep them healthy and clean.
  • Cost: While dental implants tend to come with a higher cost compared to other options, they can actually help you save your money! Without the replacements that dentures need every 5 to 7 years, you can avoid dental care and the price that comes with it.

Who Dental Implants Can Help

Woman with healthy smile after dental implant tooth replacement

It’s no surprise that dental implants are one of the most popular methods of tooth replacement. After all, they offer many incredible benefits, which is why they’re chosen by most patients! During your initial consultation, we’ll outline your specific treatment plan and put it on a timeline so you know what to expect over the next several months. Depending on the number of teeth you’re missing and their location, we may utilize any of the following treatment paths to restore the function and appearance of your smile.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

patient visiting dentist for implant consultation

First and foremost, you may wonder if you’re able to get dental implants. Well, you’ll be happy to know that almost any healthy adult is a good candidate for this method of tooth replacement! Usually, all you need to have is these three things to be considered eligible to move forward with the implant process:

  • Good Overall Health – Dental implant placement involves a minor procedure, meaning you must be well enough to undergo this small surgery.
  • Great Oral Health – Preexisting oral health issues like gum disease and cavities can compromise the success of your implants, which is why they need to be addressed first.
  • Strong Jawbone – You must have adequate jawbone dentistry to ensure successful dental implant treatment.

Don’t worry – even if you’re not a good candidate at first, we can recommend preliminary treatments like bone grafting and gum disease to help you become eligible for dental implants. Once we schedule and complete these procedures, you will be one step closer to getting your smile back on track and ready for tooth replacement!

Missing One Tooth

Animated smile during dental implant supported dental crown placement

There are many reasons why you may lose a tooth. Maybe it’s from physical trauma or tooth decay that has advanced too far. We can place one dental implant below the gum line and into the jawbone to replace a single missing tooth. Once it has fused with the bone, we can attach an abutment that will anchor a custom-crafted dental crown in place, filling the gap in your smile.

Missing Multiple Teeth

Animated smile during dental implant supported fixed bridge placement

For consecutive missing teeth, we can replace them all at once with an implant bridge. Instead of using a traditional bridge that requires the alteration of your natural teeth, we’ll place two dental implants on either side of the gap in your smile to anchor a bridge. This way, you won’t have to change your healthy teeth so they can act as anchors for your restoration.

Missing All Teeth

Dental implant supported denture prior to placement

Are you missing an entire row of teeth? Implant dentures are the best way to replace them all at once! To secure a full denture to an arch, we can place anywhere from four to eight dental implants. These will secure the customized restoration in place to eliminate any slipping or shifting that could occur.

Learn More About Implant Dentures

Understanding the Cost of Dental Implants

Woman on the phone discussing the cost of dental implants with dental team

Each dental implant procedure is customized to fit our individual patient’s needs, which is why there’s no set cost for treatment. During your initial consultation, we’ll determine whether additional steps are needed as well as how many dental implants you’ll need to have placed. Once we determine these details, we’ll be able to walk you through a breakdown of the cost of your treatment. Keep in mind that dental implants are a long-term investment for replacing teeth, making them worth the higher upfront costs to many.

Preliminary Treatments & Dental Implant Surgery

Implant dentist in Jacksonville showing a patient an X-ray
  • Preliminary treatments to make dental implants possible, including preparatory procedures like a bone graft, tooth extraction, and gum disease therapy can influence the final cost of your tooth replacement.
  • Depending on how many implants you need to have placed, your surgery costs can be higher or lower than the average case.
  • Since our dentists are highly trained in the placement of dental implants, you can expect the fees for your care to be more compact, convenient, and easy to understand.

The Parts of Your Dental Implant

Diagram showing components of dental implants in Jacksonville

If you need more dental implants placed, this means more materials will need to be utilized to create the posts designed to mimic your tooth roots. Keep in mind that the manufacturer and brand of your dental implant can also have an impact on the final costs, so feel free to ask us any questions you may have. We’ll be happy to explain why we use the implants we do to replace teeth.

Final Dental Implant Restoration

Model holding a bridge secured by dental implants in Jacksonville

When replacing several teeth at a time, more complex restorations are needed to complete your smile. For example, a single dental implant crown requires less material, time, and energy to design and fabricate. Complicated restorations like implant bridges and dentures require more materials and labor to create, therefore your costs will be notably higher. No matter what restoration you receive, you can expect it to be lifelike, durable, and blend in with your existing teeth.

Does My Dental Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

Toothbrush and floss resting on a dental insurance form

In most cases, dental insurance will not offer any coverage for dental implants. However, depending on the plan and the phase of your care, you may be able to receive at least partial coverage from your insurer. For example, it’s possible to receive coverage for preparatory treatments that make dental implant treatment viable. The restoration itself could also receive coverage, at least at a percentage. Our team will gladly go over your plan in detail to ensure your benefits are being maximized to the fullest.

Making Dental Implants Affordable

Dentist explaining cost of dental implants in Jacksonville to patient

Our office accepts dental insurance, but we understand if you’d prefer not to go this route to pay for your dental implant treatment. One way many patients make their treatment more affordable is through CareCredit, a third-party financing option that makes it easy to pay for treatments on a monthly basis, rather than in one large installment. These payments typically come with little to no interest attached, making regular payments all the more affordable.

Advanced Dental Implant Procedures

Dental team performing advanced procedure

Some patients are not initially a good candidate for dental implants. If that is true of you, do not despair! Often, all it takes is one or more preparatory treatments to get your mouth ready for your new teeth. Our doctors offer several of these advanced dental implant procedures right here in our office. Although they may extend your overall treatment timeline, you can be confident that they will set you up for a long future of sturdy, reliable dental function.

Bone Grafting

Granulated bone material being placed in tooth socket during bone graft

Almost immediately after a natural tooth is lost, a process known as resorption begins. Essentially, this means that your body begins to recycle the materials in the part of your jawbone that once supported the tooth. Over time, this process can lead the jaw to become so weak and thin that it is no longer able to support dental implants.

If you have lost some bone mass in your jaw, we may recommend that you undergo bone grafting. There are a number of different types of bone grafts, but they all involve placing bone material onto the jaw. The material may come from another part of your body or a donor. It is also possible to use a synthetic option.

Over time, the grafted material should integrate with your jaw. Thereafter, the bone should be strong enough and thick enough to support dental implants.

Typically, a bone graft occurs several months before implant placement surgery. However, in some cases, the two procedures can take place during the same appointment.

Sinus Lifts

Dental implants in upper jaw following sinus lift procedure

If you have lost some bone mass in the upper jaw, it might be too thin to support dental implants. Inserting prosthetic tooth roots could puncture your sinus membrane. This can occur if your bone has thinned due to resorption, you suffered an injury to your upper jaw, or you have naturally large sinuses.

To protect your sinuses, we may recommend that you undergo a sinus lift. During this special type of bone graft surgery, we access your sinus membrane through the upper jaw. Then, we gently push it upward. We place a block of bone beneath it to keep it in its new place.

Patients’ mouths are usually ready to support dental implants 4 – 9 months following a sinus lift procedure.

Ridge Expansion

Illustration of alveolar ridge being wedged apart

We often say that teeth are supported by the jawbone, but more specifically, they are embedded in a part of the bone called the alveolar ridge. If that ridge is too narrow, you may need a particular type of bone graft, which is known as ridge expansion or ridge augmentation.

During the surgery, we carefully wedge apart the inner and outer segments of your existing ridge. Then, we fill in the space between them with a bone graft.

Some patients receive dental implants at the same time that they undergo ridge augmentation. Others must go through a healing period of several months before it is possible to place dental implants.

Dental Implant Post-Op Instructions

a woman placing an ice pack on her face

Although the thought of having oral surgery to replace missing teeth may be daunting and anxiety-invoking, dental implant placement is a relatively simple procedure. Our team at Distinctive Dentistry by Mullens & Nguyen will help you navigate any post-operative side-effects or discomfort you may experience, but in many cases, patients are able to quickly return to their day-to-day lives. Below, we’ve included some helpful guidelines to get you through your recovery, and if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact our office.

Taking Care of Your Mouth Directly After Surgery

a woman relaxing on a couch with a book

Directly after your implant surgery, you’ll want to maintain and monitor your smile to ensure that your recovery is seamless and as comfortable as possible. One of the most important factors in successful healing is that you maintain the blood clots that will form over the surgical sites. This will ensure that your gums are able to properly heal. Some of the ways you can make sure this happens are:

  • Avoid spitting and instead, swallow your saliva or let it drip out of your mouth into a tissue.
  • Quit smoking and using tobacco products, including vaping in the weeks leading up to and following your dental implant surgery.
  • Don’t touch your surgical site with your tongue or fingers.
  • Don’t drink through a straw while you’re healing.

Common Side-Effects While Recovering From Placement Surgery

a man swishing with salt water

Like with any oral surgery, you will experience some discomfort and soreness following your implant placement. Side-effects like bleeding and swelling are to be expected, but with these helpful tips, you should be able to minimize them:

  • Holding a sterile piece of gauze over the site while applying a gentle amount of pressure.
  • Reducing swelling by placing a cold compress on the affected side of the mouth for 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off.
  • Take any prescribed or recommended pain medications as directed by our team.

If your symptoms only become worse, call us. As a general rule of thumb, with time, your discomfort should subside and eventually disappear altogether.

Your Diet After Dental Implant Surgery

a person grocery shopping

Before your procedure, you’ll want to stock your pantry and refrigerator with soft foods, as you’ll need to stick to a soft diet following your surgery. We recommend adding these items to your shopping list:

  • Yogurt
  • Pudding
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Ice cream
  • Pasta
  • Smoothies
  • Protein shakes
  • Soup (just make sure it’s not too hot when you eat it)

Post-Op Health & Oral Hygiene

a man taking a pill with water

Another important recovery factor is maintaining good oral hygiene by keeping your mouth clean and minimizing bacteria accumulation. Be sure to brush your teeth like you normally would, following your procedure, just avoid directly brushing the extraction site and be very gentle. Another great way to keep your smile clean is to rinse your mouth with salt water after each meal or snack you have and avoid using any mouthwashes that contain alcohol.

Caring for Your Smile After Your New Teeth are Attached

a woman on her phone on a couch

The final step of your treatment will be the attachment of your bridge, crown, or denture. Once this happens, you’ll be able to care for your restored smile in the exact same way as your natural one—be sure to visit your implant dentist in Jacksonville every six months for routine checkups and cleanings, brush, and floss. These practices will help prevent bacteria, plaque, and tartar from accumulating, minimizing your chances of implant failure.

Dental Implant FAQs

Woman on the phone discussing the cost of dental implants with dental team

Choosing dental implants to replace your teeth is a big decision, which is why it’s normal to be curious about the treatment. At Distinctive Dentistry by Mullens & Nguyen, we want our patients to have peace of mind with easy access to the information they need. That’s why we’ve included answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about dental implants in Jacksonville below!

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

While implants usually come at a higher cost, they last much longer than traditional replacements like bridges or dentures, making them much more affordable than you may have thought. They have a success rate of 95% after 10 years. In fact, dental implants are designed to last for 3 decades, or even the rest of your life, with proper care. Just brush and floss your implants like you would your original teeth and visit our implant dentist in Jacksonville to maintain your new smile.

Can I Take Dental Implants Out?

No – dental implants are surgically placed in the jawbone and cannot be removed except by a dental professional. They fuse to the jawbone during a process called osseointegration, becoming a permanent part of the body. However, some types of dental implants can be removed for cleaning and maintenance. Implant dentures are the most popular type of implants that can be removed – they can sometimes be designed to snap in and out of the mouth easily, making it an ideal situation for someone missing all or most of their teeth.

Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?

Our implant dentist in Jacksonville will always ensure that you’re numb and comfortable before beginning the procedure. We use local anesthetic and offer sedation for a greater sense of comfort. Plus, your jawbone does not contain many pain-sensing nerves, making the surgery itself much more painless than you may expect. However, it’s normal to experience some slight discomfort or soreness in the days following your surgery. This can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication and anything that we prescribe. If your pain seems to get worse after 3 days, contact our office right away!

Am I Too Young to Get Dental Implants?

Most people’s jaws are not fully developed until adulthood. If an implant was placed in a jawbone that is still growing, it could interfere with the bone development and cause complications. That’s why we do not recommend dental implants for patients who are younger than 18. In certain cases, the jaw may not develop fully until the mid-to-late 20s, and men’s jaws tend to take longer to grow compared to women’s jaws.

Maintaining & Caring for Your Dental Implants

woman with dental implants in Jacksonville giving thumbs up in dental chair

One of the main reasons for the growing popularity of dental implants is their potential to have lifelong results. As long as you practice the right dental implant care in Jacksonville, there’s a high likelihood that your new pearly whites will end up standing the test of time. Our team at Distinctive Dentistry by Mullens & Nguyen has provided this simple guide to keeping your implants in optimal shape for years to come.

Make Oral Hygiene a Priority

woman putting toothpaste on an electric toothbrush

Unlike dentures, dental implants can be cleaned similarly to natural teeth: with twice-a day brushing and daily flossing. The implants themselves might not be susceptible to cavities, but the teeth you have left still are. Failure to maintain an oral hygiene routine could cause plaque to form and lead to gum disease, which is the most common reason for dental implant failure. Keeping up with your brushing and flossing habits is an easy way to help your dental implants in Jacksonville last.

Eat a Healthy Diet

woman biting into a red apple

Try to incorporate a wide variety of nutritious foods into your diet, such as leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, calcium-rich dairy products, and lean proteins. Not only will these items promote overall wellness, but they’ll also encourage healthy gum tissue and a strong jawbone. Do your best to consume sugary and starchy foods in moderation since they can increase the risk of gum disease.

Break Bad Habits

woman nervously biting her fingernails

Some habits are hard to break, but you should make the effort to quit the ones that could harm your implants. Your teeth (both real and artificial) could chip, crack, or break if you bite your fingernails, eat ice, open packages with your teeth, or chew on non-food objects like pencils. If you smoke or use tobacco in any way, consider quitting; it could prevent the implants from integrating with your jawbone. Feel free to ask your implant dentist in Jacksonville for tips on breaking these habits, such as chewing sugar-free gum or finding smoking cessation groups.

Protect Your Dental Implants

man wearing a red mouthguard

Wearing a customized mouthguard can make a world of difference if you often play sports or suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding that usually occurs at night). These appliances are designed to comfortably absorb the impact of sports-related injuries or pressure from grinding, shielding your implants as well as your natural teeth.

Schedule Regular Dental Checkups

woman seeing her implant dentist in Jacksonville for a checkup

A pivotal aspect of ensuring your dental implants last is to visit our office for regular checkups and cleanings. For most people, we recommend attending two of these visits per year, but that number may vary based on your specific needs. These appointments are essential in letting our dentists evaluate your implants for any signs of damage and treating them as early as possible.