You Can Help Your Dental Implant’s Success

Posted on Jul 14, 2016 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Over the years, the design and placement process of Dental Implants have been so perfected that they’ve come to hold one of the highest success rates of all in-bone implant types – nearly 97%.

One of the reasons that Dental Implants are such a wise investment is that they are designed to last your lifetime. However, there is a potential for failure. Like any procedure that involves an implant in human bone (including hip, knee, etc.), there is an element of risk.

Having an implant removed due to infection or malfunction is difficult for the patient. Although it’s not a frequent occurrence, removing an implant means the patient has lost their investment and must endure additional procedures and expenses for repair and replacement. How can you help to minimize this risk?

One of the most important factors in any successful medical or dental procedure begins with the doctor who coordinates your care. Your doctor should never be selected based on the lowest fee. The doctor chosen should have extensive training and experience in the diagnosis and placement of all types of Dental Implant systems. This enables him or her to select an implant that is appropriate for your individual needs.

In selecting the doctor who will oversee your treatment, you should also look for advanced skills in the placement of your implants. Successful placement relies on the ability to assess for adequate bone mass to support an implant without interfering with adjacent structures. The ability to select the proper implant type for available bone depth is equally important.

Without proper placement in sufficient bone, an implant risks coming in contact with a nerve that extends horizontally through the lower jaw. Upper implants placed too close to the sinus cavity can, over time, penetrate that area. Removing an implant in either of these situations, of course, is no simple task.

Obviously, a qualified doctor can enhance your potential for a successful outcome. This is why many people rely on a periodontal specialist. A Periodontist has particular expertise in the diagnosis and placement of all types of Dental Implants. As a matter of fact, many general dentists prefer to have a Periodontist place implants in their patients. The patient then returns to their dentist for the attachment of teeth to the implants.Clairborne w:Pt

While the doctor involved in your treatment is important, much of the risk falls into the patient’s hands after the placement process.

As a patient, helping to have a successful outcome begins as soon as your implants are placed. First, closely follow your post-placement instructions. For a few days following placement, most patients are advised to eat only cool, soft foods. This helps to minimize swelling and bleeding, which helps gum tissues to more quickly seal incision sites. This can lower your risk for infection.

Once home, other factors can also place your implants at risk. For example, smokers have a higher risk for implant failure. Because the chemicals in cigarette smoke are very drying to oral tissues, the healing process takes longer. Delayed healing creates a greater risk for infection to occur.

An element of risk that may surprise you is grinding or clenching teeth during sleep, which is typically a symptom of a misaligned bite. Some clenching is so intense the force can be likened to that used to crack a walnut. A sign of night-time clenching or grinding may be worn, chipped or broken teeth. However, even without signs, if you suspect you grind or clench, mention this to your implant dentist prior to treatment. This way, proactive measures can be taken to resolve the problem before complications result.

Most important of all is the patient’s commitment to maintaining good oral hygiene. Although Dental Implants themselves do not experience decay, the gum tissues and bone supporting the implants are as susceptible to oral bacteria as before. When oral bacteria infection (gum disease) penetrates to the implant site positions, the only way to treat the infection may require removing the implant.

Having Dental Implants will require you to be highly committed to your oral hygiene at home. Additionally, your dental check-ups will likely be scheduled for every four months than twice a year. During these visits, a hygienist will remove accumulated oral bacteria to reduce risk to your Dental Implants. The condition of your gums will also be assessed.

At Biltmore Periodontics, we are very proud of our success rate. When our patients regain the ability to bite, chew and laugh with confidence, we celebrate right along with them. Our goal, for every patient, is to have each enjoy confident smiles for a lifetime!

If you’ve considered Dental Implants, let’s discuss the types that may be best for you. Call 828-274-9440 to schedule a consultation appointment. I’ll explain the process and answer your questions thoroughly.

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