Multiple Benefits

Dental implants offer security and function.

Rosemarie Blackburn, 73, a native of Germany, came to the United States in 1968. With a husband in the service, she became very involved in military life. She was less involved in taking care of her dental health, however, and eventually issues arose.
“I neglected my teeth for a long time,” she admits. “The problems started when I got into my sixties. My teeth began to hurt, and I had root canals and other dental work done. Then, my gums started receding, and my teeth began falling out.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Rosemarie Blackburn

“I lost a lot of my back teeth, and I only had seven teeth left. I could still eat, and people couldn’t see my missing teeth when I smiled because I still had five teeth in the front. But I knew I couldn’t live like that anymore. I had to do something.”
Rosemarie went to her dentist at the time, and he restored her lower arch of teeth with a fixed bridge. After that, she became concerned about the more visible upper arch. For a while, she wore a removable partial denture on top, but it became loose and sometimes fell out.
“I had my bottom bridge done by another dentist,” she confirms. “I was trying to save my top teeth, and I wore a partial denture, but it broke.”
Rosemarie started looking for a new dentist, one with rejuvenation expertise to rebuild her upper teeth. A friend recommended Implant Dentistry of Florida in Melbourne.
At Implant Dentistry of Florida, Dr. Clark Brown and his associate,
Dr. William Vaughn, perform cosmetic and general dentistry, as well as all phases of implant surgery and restoration. When Rosemarie arrived for an appointment at Implant Dentistry of Florida, she met with Dr. Vaughn. He recommended removing all of her remaining teeth and rebuilding her upper arch using a prosthesis that could be either a removable denture or a fixed bridge, secured by dental implants. Rosemarie liked and trusted Dr. Vaughn right away and agreed with his recommendation of the fixed bridge, since her lower teeth were also fixed in place.
“Last May, Dr. Vaughn pulled all of my top teeth,” she confides. “He started getting the implants ready, but then my mouth had to heal. I wore a temporary denture on the top so I could go out and not look like an old woman. Also, if I didn’t have any teeth on the top, I wouldn’t have been able to eat.”
Even then, Rosemarie was impressed with the quality of work she received from Implant Dentistry of Florida. She was amazed Dr. Vaughn took the time when creating her temporary denture to make sure she looked good while waiting for her finished product.
“The denture looked like my real teeth,” she says. “In the front, I had two teeth that were wider than the others, and the teeth in the denture looked just like the ones in my pictures.”

Implant Advantages

A dental implant is a small, titanium screw that is surgically placed into the jawbone. As the bone heals, it fuses to the implant, creating a secure bond. The body doesn’t reject the implant because it doesn’t recognize titanium as a foreign material. The implants then act as a foundation to support a prosthesis, such as a denture, a fixed bridge, or an individual crown.
“Prostheses supported by dental implants are superior to their traditional counterparts,” observes Dr. Vaughn. “Single missing teeth can be replaced without the damage to the adjacent teeth that occurs with a bridge. A traditional denture can be snapped into place for a secure fit, eliminating discomfort and the need for denture adhesives. And a fixed bridge can eliminate the need for a denture altogether. Dental implants are the best thing next to natural teeth. With fixed restorations attached, they provide the most secure solution for replacing missing teeth.

“I tell all my neighbors about them. I say, Go to Dr. Vaughn if you have problems with your teeth and need a dentist. He’s one of the best!  – Rosemarie

“Rosemarie wore a temporary upper denture for four months while waiting for her implants to heal,” continues
Dr. Vaughn. “Her permanent restoration is a fixed bridge that spans from first molar to first molar. Having a fixed prosthesis provides a number of benefits.
“Oftentimes, people do not want to feel like they have dentures. They want to feel like they have their own teeth, and a fixed prosthesis that stays in place helps give them that feeling. It doesn’t have to come out and be put back in or be soaked in a glass in the bathroom. Using dental implants is as close as we can get to replacing natural teeth.”
In addition, traditional dentures tend to move when eating, which greatly diminishes patients’ chewing function. That can result in a lower quality of life because they are not able to eat all the foods they want.
“Fixed prostheses, however, are attached to the implants, which are integrated into the bone and held firmly,” explains Dr. Vaughn. “They are able to transmit the forces from the jaw to food while chewing, making chewing more efficient and more like that of natural teeth. Patients can go back to eating their favorite foods, and that improves quality of life.”
Dr. Vaughn educates that while some bridges are composed only of white material to replace the teeth, others include a synthetic, gum-colored base to replace the gum tissue that is often lost when teeth are extracted. Rosemarie’s bridge was made this way.
“Sometimes, we have to replace some of the gum tissue as well, and that will be at the top part of the bridge. The lower portion will be where the teeth sit,” he notes. “The gum portion will have a pink shade and will be sculpted to look like natural gum tissue.”
When fitting implant-secured bridges, the dentist must adjust the bite carefully to make sure all the upper teeth are touching the lower teeth in unison. There can’t be any high spots because the implants and prostheses don’t move the way teeth will.
“Natural teeth will shift over time. They also have a ligament that allows them to compress slightly. Implants do not have that,” he states. “They’re fixed in place, so the dentist needs to make sure the teeth are balanced, and there’s harmony between the upper and lower bridges.”

Remarkable Excellence

Rosemarie was impressed by the quality of her temporary denture. When she received her permanent bridge in mid September, she was absolutely astounded by its excellence. To her, it is far superior to the lower bridge she had done by her previous dentist.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Rosemarie is delighted with her new fixed bridge.

“My upper bridge is made of a different material, a composite,” she reports. “It’s stronger than the lower one, which is good to know because one day, I was eating and a tooth broke off my lower bridge, which was done by a different dentist.”
Dr. Vaughn explains that Rosemarie’s bridge is one solid piece of a porcelain-composite hybrid that flexes and has tremendous strength.
“This happened about four o’clock in the afternoon,” Rosemarie recalls. “I called Implant Dentistry of Florida, and they said, Can you come in in the morning? I went in, and they saved the tooth.”
Having a fixed prosthesis instead of a traditional appliance means Rosemarie never has to worry about it becoming loose or slipping, and she doesn’t have to remove it. She simply needs to maintain good oral hygiene to keep it clean. Her finished bridge also gives her added confidence because she knows she’ll always have teeth in her mouth.
“I like knowing it’s fixed, and I don’t have to take it out at night,” she shares. “With a denture, you put it in a glass at night. In the morning, you might forget to put it back in and then you look in the mirror and say, Oh my God! Who is this woman with no teeth?
That won’t happen to Rosemarie. And with teeth in her mouth, her smile becomes more youthful and attractive. She thinks her new dental work makes her look like she did when she was younger.
“The bridge is beautiful,” she comments. “I had a picture from when I was twenty-two, and I showed it to them and asked if they could make the teeth in the bridge look the way my teeth looked then. Now, they look like my own teeth.”
Not only is Rosemarie pleased with the appearance of her new bridge, she’s also thrilled with how perfectly it functions. She’s especially glad to be eating one of her favorite foods.
“I like pork chops,” she says. “When I had my dentures, it was harder to eat pork chops than chicken. Now, I can eat anything I want with my bridge, even pork chops.
“I am very happy and pleased. I recommend Dr. Vaughn and Implant Dentistry of Florida. I tell all my neighbors about them. I say, Go to Dr. Vaughn if you have problems with your teeth and need a dentist. He’s one of the best!

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    • Implant Dentistry of Florida

      Dr. Clark Brown and his team at Implant Dentistry of Florida are committed to providing you with excellent dental care in a warm, comfortable setting. They provide the latest techniques in implant dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and general ... Read More

    • Clark F. Brown, Jr., DDS

      Clark F. Brown, Jr., DDS, is board certified by the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego, and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Geo... Read More

    • William S. Vaughn, DMD

      William S. Vaughn, DMD, earned his undergraduate degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College and his Master of Science degree in Oral Biology and Doctor of Oral Medicine degree from the University of Louisville. Dr. Vaughn has participated in c... Read More