Dental implants are a good choice for patients who suffer from one or more missing teeth and desire a better quality of life. Implants act as natural teeth and allow you to eat, chew, speak, and smile normally.
Dental implants can last for many years, but a few factors can affect the outcome of your implant procedure. Read on to learn more about these three elements that impact dental implant success.
1. Slow Healing Process
Titanium posts help root your implant into your jawbone and keep it firmly anchored into place. Once in place, implants rely on surrounding bone to fuse and for tissue to regrow around the site to help them remain strong.
Sometimes bone and tissue are slow to heal or you may suffer from infections that inhibit the healing process. Certain factors can hinder the bone's ability to fuse well. If you smoke or take certain medications, you may experience this problem. For example, patients who take heartburn medication are less able to absorb calcium into their bones, which affects successful bone fusion.
2. Poor Oral Health
Once your jawbone has fused firmly around the titanium post, your dentist attaches the cosmetic prosthesis into place. The prosthesis may be a single tooth, bridge, or dentures. You are responsible for the care of your implants in order for them to last for many more years.
Poor oral health can make the implant and surrounding natural tissue susceptible to plaque and infection just like natural teeth. Gum disease can cause gums to recede and allow bacteria to more easily infect the teeth and jawbone. Your implant site and surrounding teeth and gums will feel sore. Gums will appear swollen. Even worse, your implants may loosen.
3. Poor Overall Health
Sometimes implants can fail due to poor overall health. Dentists encourage patients to seek implants only if they are in good health, but sometimes the onset of a new disease after your surgery can impact the success of your implants.
Your body may reject your implants if you develop an autoimmune condition like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Radiation treatments to combat cancer will also have an impact. You may develop osteoporosis as you age and experience early implant failure. Finally, bruxism can rapidly wear down the prosthesis of your implants.
To ensure your dental implants last as long as possible, visit your dentist and your medical care provider regularly to keep your body and mouth healthy.