How to Ensure a Successful Dental Implant Experience
Dental implants are a proven tooth replacement solution that is durable and authentically mimics the appearance and feeling of your natural teeth. The end results are astonishingly reliable – sources suggest a success rate between 95 and 98 percent.1,2
If you’re considering dental implants, there are certain things you can do to ensure a successful procedure and steps you can take to keep them stable and healthy once they’ve been implanted.
How Dental Implants Work
The process is relatively simple – a dental professional surgically places the implant into the jawbone. Once the gums and bone heal and the bone bonds with the implant, abutments are secured to the top of the implants and bridges. Then dentures or crowns are affixed to the abutment, giving the patient a smile that looks and feels natural. More than one implant can be used to replace several teeth.
Things You Should Do to Make Your Dental Implants Last
Address Existing Health Problems
If a patient has existing health problems, such as gum disease, an autoimmune disorder, diabetes or osteoporosis, the implant may not integrate properly. A dental professional will be able to determine if there are any health concerns that may compromise the integrity of your dental implants. Experiencing these types of medical issues doesn’t necessarily preclude you from being eligible for dental implants, but this may be a good opportunity to address some other facets of your health.
Avoid Grinding or Clenching
Teeth grinding and jaw clenching put excessive pressure on the implant, preventing it from bonding with the bone or causing it to loosen over time. Patients who grind their teeth should use a night guard or other treatment method if they plan on getting dental implants.
Treat Insufficient Gum Tissue or Bone Density
Part of the process involves the gums and bone healing around and integrating with the implant. When there isn’t enough gum tissue or the bone isn’t dense enough, it’s more likely the implant won’t bond to the bone. There are several procedures, such as bone grafting, gum tissue grafting and gum contouring, which may remedy these roadblocks and enable the dental implant procedure.
This is a type of infection that develops near the implant due to poor dental hygiene post-surgery. Bacteria form on the implant and infect the gums, potentially causing bone loss and implant failure. Patients with thin gums, diabetes, poor oral hygiene and smokers are at higher risk for developing peri-implantitis. If you have dental implants already, these issues can be addressed and prevented with diligent adherence to a dentist-recommended oral hygiene routine.
Adjust Certain Medications
It’s crucial patients be transparent with their dental implant provider about which medications they’re currently taking before the procedure. Bisphosphonates and some heartburn medications, for example, can increase the risk of implant failure. There are many options in modern pharmaceuticals, and there’s a possibility you and your doctor may be able to find alternative treatment and medication options that won’t complicate your implant procedure.
Tips for a Successful Dental Implant Procedure
To ensure your implants stay strong and your smile remains bright for years to come, you’ll want to adopt these post-op habits:
Brush and floss at least twice daily
Use an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash
Avoid chewing hard foods that could damage the crown
Closely follow the post-op instructions as outlined by your surgeon
Attend follow-up visits to ensure the implant has integrated properly
Schedule Your Implant Procedure Today!
If you’re interested in showing off your smile and enjoying your favorite foods without worry, don’t hesitate to schedule an evaluation with the caring staff at Greater Louisville Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates. Our team of surgeons has been providing the greater Louisville area with brighter and more beautiful smiles for more than 35 years! Call (502) 459-8012 or visit our website to set up a consultation.