What Factors Contribute to the Long-Term Success of Dental Implants?

Dental implants are the perfect option as a permanent teeth replacement for one, several, or many teeth lost due to trauma, decay or disease. The process is a lengthy one, and the patient must be committed to following instructions issued by the dentist to ensure the implants’ success.

If gum disease was the basis for tooth loss, the underlying cause of the periodontal condition must be resolved before entering into the implant process. If bone loss has been sustained, the bone must be built up before dental implants are placed. Any infection must be resolved before treatment can be initiated.

Traumatic tooth loss or teeth that must be extracted due to decay may not require any additional preparation before implants can be placed.

The patient must understand the commitment needed for successful treatment. Since this process can take about a year to complete, the patient will be expected to observe the following:

  1. Daily oral hygiene must be maintained to prevent infection (the leading cause of implant failure). Once the implant has been placed, it can take four to six months for healing to be completed. During this time bone is building around the implant incorporating the implant as part of the dental anatomy to act much like the root of a natural tooth providing support to the restoration.
  2. Tobacco use should be ceased. Whether smoked or chewed, tobacco is another leading reason why implants fail so its use is highly discouraged.
  3. Follow all guidelines issued by the dentist from the foods you eat to brushing and flossing instructions.

Once the implant itself has healed, the permanent restoration can be placed. This could be in the form of one tooth like a crown or an implant supported bridge. Once tried in for accuracy in fit and appearance, the restoration is cemented in place. At this time, the patient is free to eat the foods most loved, speak with confidence, and smile freely as tooth loss is no longer an issue.

Caring for the implant is much like caring for biological teeth. Brushing daily along with flossing will keep plaque from building up on teeth at the gum line. Visits to the dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and exam will keep the implant healthy for a lifetime. Call 512-200-7422 to reserve your appointment today.

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