5 Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Chances for a Successful Dental Implant:
As you prepare for your dental implants, you may wonder what you can do to make sure you get the best results. Dental implants have a high success rate, but there are still simple things you can do to make sure you enjoy your implants for a lifetime.
1) Don’t smoke.
Some dental surgeons refuse to give implants to patients who smoke. More often, they encourage them quit before the procedure and abstain during recovery. Smoking interferes with the healing process by reducing the flow of blood in the mouth. Impeded healing can jeopardize bone grafts and the implant itself. Heat in the mouth can lead to oral-burn syndrome that damages bone and soft tissue.
According to a University of Minnesota study, the dental implants of smokers are twice as likely to fail as those of non-smokers. In addition, smokers experienced major or minor complications 15% more often. Smokers also experience higher post-operative infection rates than non-smokers. Gaps and cavities may develop between the implants and the gums that fill with bacteria and become swollen and inflamed.
2) Follow your recovery directions to help healing.
Post-procedural instructions are easy to follow and help create the best conditions for healing during your recovery. Right after your surgery, limit your diet to soft foods. Our surgeons at Cumberland Surgical Arts recommend that patients avoid chewing foods near the surgical site until after your first follow-up appointment.
During recovery, you may experience some swelling or minor bleeding, which can be managed easily. Avoid spitting and rinsing. Instead, use compresses of gauze or herbal tea bags to control bleeding.
If your surgeon prescribes pain medications or antibiotics, follow the directions on the bottle carefully and refrain from driving or operating heavy machinery. While you can engage in normal, daily activities, you should avoid rigorous activities, such as exercise.
For more advice on having a successful and painless recovery, visit our After Dental Implant Surgery.
3) Keep your follow-up appointments.
The first year after your placement is a crucial time. Studies show that, while there is an , the rate falls to 1% after that.
To ensure the best chance for success, your surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments during the first, third, and sixth months after your procedure, then yearly after that.
During these follow-up visits, dental x-rays can be used to examine the fusion between the implant and the jawbone. Thorough examinations can catch any infection or disease that may have developed before it goes too far.
4) Visit your dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams.
Appointments with both your dental surgeon and your dentist will ensure that you achieve the best results possible. On top of the follow-up appointments you have with your surgeon, you still need to meet with your dentist for routine x-rays and cleanings.
These routine dental appointments help guarantee that your surrounding teeth and soft tissues remain healthy. If periodontal disease develops, your dentist can propose treatment to control it and prevent it from compromising your implants.
5) Maintain your oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice a day.
Even though dental implants are made of materials like porcelain and titanium, they still need to be cared for like your natural teeth. While cavities cannot develop on implants, surrounding teeth can be affected if your prosthetic crown and surrounding gums aren’t being cleaned regularly.
You should brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day. Flossing regularly will help remove any debris that might create plaque build-up or contribute to an infection. Using an antibacterial mouthwash also kills germs and fights plaque.
The path to a successful dental implant is straightforward. Patients who dedicate themselves to maintaining their oral health have the best chance of success. While some steps can be taken directly after the surgery, continued communication with your surgeon and dentist combined with regular oral hygiene ensure success for the long term.