Tips For Dental Implant Success

Dental implants are a wonderful advancement in dental care. Patients who have missing teeth used to only have partial bridges and dentures as options. Dental implants are permanently anchored on a titanium screw that is anchored in your jawbone. This makes a dental implant look and function like a real tooth. It's important patients who are considering dental implants understand some key points, however.

Quit Using Tobacco Products

Smoking and chewing tobacco are not good for you. In addition to increasing your chances of cancer, the chemicals in these products cause damage to your enamel, which increases the likelihood of decay, cavities, and gum disease.

Tobacco products usage also delays healing. Nicotine acts as a vasoconstrictor, which slows blood flow to the region. Nutrient-rich blood is needed to help the healing process. The carbon monoxide in cigarettes also reduces the oxygen available, another necessary component of healing. Most medical professionals recommend patients quit using tobacco products prior to elective surgical procedures or when healing from an unexpected injury or surgical procedure.

Additionally, smokers with missing teeth who elect to get dental implants have another reason to quit smoking. A 5-year study of 165 implants in 66 patients showed smokers had a much higher dental implant failure rate. A smoker's implant failure rate was nearly 16 percent. In contrast, only 1.4 percent of nonsmokers had a dental implant failure. Be sure to honestly discuss your tobacco use with your dentist prior to undergoing any dental restorative processes. Many dentists prescribe tobacco cessation medications and regimes.

Take Time to Heal

Dental implants require bone to grow around the titanium post that is implanted. This process can take many months for the bone growth and the implant site to completely heal. Bone grafting, which is done when a patient's own jawbone is too weak to support an implant, may also need to be done before the actual implant procedure. This may require multiple procedures.

It is important during the healing time from bone grafts and implants you don't overextend yourself or participate in activities that could cause damage to your mouth. Continue to floss and brush your teeth each day to keep mouth bacteria down.

Eat Properly

The foods you eat can not only help the healing process but make it easier for you to adjust implants while they heal. Choose foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients but are also soft. For example, a yogurt smoothie with blended fruit is easy to eat and also nutritious. Soup, pudding, and pureed vegetables are other good options.