Dental implants are designed to be permanent prosthetic solutions for missing teeth. However, if you don't exercise proper precautions, you can cause your dental implant to fail. Here are a few things that you can do to help your implant remain in place for a lifetime:
Use proper dental hygiene.
Your dental implant rests in your gums and bone just as the root of a natural tooth does. The titanium implant screw, which is surgically implanted into the jawbone, may have become secure in the bone through osseointegration. However, without proper dental hygiene, the implant can loosen.
Gum disease allow an entry point for oral bacteria below the gum line. A dental infection that stems from gum disease can infect the bone and connective tissue that support a dental implant.
To avoid this problem after your implant heals, it is best to brush and floss as you did before your implant surgery. In addition, use chlorhexidine mouthwash to ensure that the number of germs in your mouth is minimized.
Smoking facilitates implant failure by weakening your body's immune system. Smokers are more susceptible to infections and to a reduction in healing rates. Less oxygen is available to the implant site. In addition, the wound may be repeatedly irritated from the tobacco smoke.
Smokers who receive a dental implant should look for smoking alternatives, such as chewing gum, to avoid implant problems.
Use a mouth guard for bruxism.
If you grind your teeth at night, your teeth are subjected to a tremendous amount of pressure. The pressure can be severe enough to crack or chip natural teeth and to loosen a dental implant. Once an implant becomes loosened in its socket, the implant fails.
To protect your natural teeth and your dental implant, it is best to wear a mouth guard when you rest at night. The guard, which is usually made of impact-absorbent plastic, is designed to fit the mold of your mouth.
Don't drink too much alcohol.
Alcohol, especially when consumed excessively, can also cause issues with a dental implant. If too much alcohol is ingested around the time of your implant surgery, the alcohol can make antibiotics less effective. In addition, it can interact with anesthetic medication and pain pills in a manner that could become life-threatening.
If you have a dental implant or are considering one, take proper measures to help ensure its success. To learn more ways to keep an implant intact, schedule an appointment to speak with your dentist or click here for more information.