Dental implants are considered to be the best treatment for tooth loss. Dental implants replace the roots of a missing tooth to restore oral strength, health, function, and appearance.
For dental implant treatment to be a success, the implant must fuse with the tissues within the jawbone. This process can take several months. The experienced team of dentists at Dental Associates of New England provides our Boston, MA, patients with tips on avoiding dental implant failure so that they can enjoy the full benefits of this advanced dental treatment.
Dental implants are placed during an oral surgery procedure. As with any other surgical procedure, infection is one of the primary risks of treatment. If an infection develops, tissues will become inflamed and the implant may not fuse with the jawbone.
To reduce the risk of infection, patients may be prescribed an oral antibiotic, or given an antibacterial rinse. It is important that patients use any prescribed medication or rinses exactly as directed to minimize the risk of infection and dental implant failure.
Good oral hygiene habits are another way to reduce the risk of infection after dental implant treatment. Infections are caused by bacteria, and brushing and flossing clean bacteria away from the teeth and gums.
Our Boston patients will not be able to brush directly over the incision site until the gums have healed, but they do need to continue to brush and floss adjacent teeth. A warm salt water rinse can also be used to clean the surgical site without disrupting any sutures.
After dental implant treatment, patients are advised to temporarily alter their diet. The pressure of biting hard foods may be uncomfortable, but it can also disrupt the healing process and may open up incisions, both of which could lead to dental implant failure. Each patient will be given specific diet instructions after dental implant treatment, but in general, it is recommended that patients stick to a liquid diet for 24 hours after the procedure, and then soft foods for the first week of recovery.
Smoking is bad for the body in a number of ways, but it can be particularly harmful to those who are recovering from surgery. Smoking has been shown to slow down the healing process by restricting blood flow. This prevents surgical sites from getting nutrients that are vital to healing and recovery.
To avoid dental implant failure, our Boston patients who smoke should quit the habit at least two weeks prior to treatment, and then continue to refrain from smoking for at least two months afterwards.
Oral trauma is another potential cause of dental implant failure. An oral injury could disrupt healing and prevent implants from fusing with the patient’s bone tissues. Patients should avoid contact sports and other activities that could cause oral injury for at least a couple of months after dental implant treatment.
Even after a patient has completely healed from dental implant treatment, they could suffer late-term implant failure if the mouth is seriously injured. To minimize this risk, patients should wear a protective mouth guard whenever they are participating in contact sports.
Dental implants offer a strong, secure, and durable anchor for dental restorations. If you have suffered from adult tooth loss and would like to know if dental implants are right for you, contact Dental Associates of New England at your earliest convenience, or call (781) 890-4900 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists.