Dental implants have gained a lot of attention in recent years because of their high success rates. Compared to dentures, bridges, and crowns, dental implants are an effective long-term solution for people who suffer from missing teeth, failing teeth or chronic dental problems. Once in place, you’ll be able to go back to enjoying your teeth and smile once again.
If you do not already have dental implants, here are the main three components:
- The implant: A metal post or frame that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gums and serves as a root for your new teeth.
- The abutment: A permanent, but removable (by your doctor), connector that supports and holds a tooth or set of teeth.
- The crown (or prosthetic tooth): This is the part of the tooth that you can see. It’s usually made of zirconium or porcelain for durability and to look natural.
While dental implants are a fantastic option for many, no dental procedure works 100 percent of the time. However, many of the most common dental implant-related problems are avoidable.
If you’re considering dental implants, or already have them, here’s how to help avoid common dental implant issues.
Choose a Qualified Dentist
Make sure you work with a qualified dentist or specialist for your dental implant procedure. An inexperienced or careless dentist can cause any number of problems. For one, dental implants inserted into the wrong position make it likely that the metal post won’t bond to your jawbone, leading to failure. Be sure to ask about your dental provider’s experience with dental implants before you schedule a procedure.
Disclose Your Full Medical History
Even though most people are good candidates for dental implants, not telling your dentist about your full medical history and health could lead to potentially bad outcomes with your dental implants. It is important to disclose everything, even if you think it might not matter.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Be sure to follow your dentist’s post-treatment care instructions for your implants, both immediately after the procedure and over the long-term. If you don’t, it could lead to an infection.
Smoking is said to be dangerous for your oral health and is the prime cause of dental implant failure. Dental experts say that smoking has several negative impacts such as infection, inflammation around the gums, and inappropriate bonding between the implant and jawbones. With this in mind, we strongly advise dental implant patients to quit smoking.
Report Problems Immediately
Some problems with dental implants happen after your procedure. For example, a newly formed sinus infection can cause pain. If the surrounding tissue doesn’t heal properly, you may experience excessive bleeding and discomfort. It is important to notify your dentist as soon as you experience a problem, so they can help you get back on the road to recovery. The longer an issue occurs without resolution, the longer it could take for your implants to heal.
Here are some common signs of dental implant failure or complications:
- Difficulty chewing
- Gum inflammation
- Gum recession
- Increased swelling
- Loosening of an implant or a replaced tooth
- Severe pain or discomfort
Routine check-ups should go without saying, but we all get busy. The easiest way to maintain a regular dental check-up schedule is to make your next routine appointment before you leave the dental office each time you visit.
Dental implants have a high success rate, but there can be complications from time to time. It is important to know what steps you can take before and after implant treatment to avoid any issues. For more information about dental implants, contact us today.