March 18, 2019
When it comes to replacing missing teeth, dental implants are considered to be the “gold standard.” That’s because they are surgically inserted into the underlying jawbone, and they function like teeth roots. While the process has an overall success rate of 95%, the longevity of a dental implant depends greatly on how well it’s cared for. So to maintain your smile for years to come, learn about the top 3 contributors to premature implant failure.
#1 – Poor Gum Health
Your gums are as essential to the life of your dental implant as soil is to a plant. Therefore, it’s important to maintain your normal oral hygiene habits after the dental implant has been placed.
Here are some of the tools that will aid in your efforts:
- Toothbrush – You should brush your teeth as you normally would at least two times a day to remove persistent bacteria.
- Floss – It’s equally important to floss to get into the hard-to-reach places where bacteria like to hide.
- Oral Irrigator – Another tool that is helpful, especially for people with dental implants, is an oral irrigator (water flosser). It shoots a pressurized stream of water into your mouth to help to free any debris trapped between your teeth.
- Gum Stimulator – The gum stimulator consists of a tool with a rubber tip that is used to remove plaque that gathers in the gum pocket and along the gum line.
#2 – Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
An imbalance of pressure distribution can lead to a condition called bruxism, which is the grinding of the teeth. This can lead to premature wear, and the poorly distributed tension can cause a dental implant to unseat.
The best way to avoid this is to take a proactive approach. Thus, if you have a history of bruxism, it’s best to bring it to your dentist’s attention before having a dental implant placed so you won’t risk compromising your new smile.
#3 – Tobacco Usage
After a dental implant is placed, your jaw and gums have to heal properly for the fixture to last. Therefore, the environment inside your mouth has to be conducive to that happening.
Smoking or chewing tobacco is a direct antithesis to that, because the toxic chemicals released can cause the mouth to become dry (the type of environment bacteria flourish in), and it can lead to a condition called dry socket. As a result, the critical blood clot that allows the treatment area to fully heal can become dislodged.
The best form of prevention is to completely abstain from any tobacco usage. Your reward will be a fully functional and gorgeous set of teeth that will last for years to come.
So to learn more about the dental implant process and your eligibility for it, contact a local implant dentist to get the process started today!
About the Author
Dr. Scott Wehrkamp earned his dental degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Dentistry. He has since gone on to provide nearly 40 years of compassionate and comprehensive care. A fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantology, Dr. Wehrkamp has taken over 75 hours of continuing education in implant placement. He restores smiles at Wehrkamp Dentistry, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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