Dental implants are permanent solutions to tooth loss problems. They are, however, also susceptible to infection and failure if you don’t care for them properly in the days after your surgery. For one thing, they need time to promote osseointegration or the successful binding of the dental implant and your jawbone.
Without proper post-surgery care, osseointegration may not push through. Your implant could become another painful problem instead of being the long-term solution.
Dental implant success depends on three things: the surgery itself, your overall health, and your post-operation care. You can easily fulfill the first requirement by coming to Chicago Dental Arts; we have fully-equipped clinics and experienced dentists in Chicago, Skokie, and Hinsdale. As for the other two, allow us to offer you some tips to help keep you in good health.
Late Implant Failure
There are two types of implant failure: early and late. Implant failure soon after the surgery — early implant failure — suggests that osseointegration was unsuccessful. The implant would loosen, even fall out, days or weeks after the surgery. Impending early failure is easy to recognize because the area will feel sore and painful for more than three days after the surgery.
The reason for late implant failure, on the other hand, may surprise you. An implant may fail months or even years after the implant surgery if bone loss occurs in the surrounding area. As implants anchor into the jawbone, bone loss means that there’s not enough bone to hold on to. The result is that the tooth loosens.
Take these preventive measures to prevent bone loss and late implant failure:
- Quit smoking.
- Maintain a thorough, daily oral hygiene habit.
- Eat healthy food, especially those rich in Calcium and Vitamin D.
- Get treatment for periodontitis (an advanced gum disease that leads to bone loss).
Watch Out for Bruxism and Misalignment
One cause of late implant failure is bruxism or the unconscious grinding of your teeth while you sleep. When you’re bruxing, you’re exerting a force on your teeth strong enough to chip them. That same force can damage dental implants.
The misalignment of your natural teeth can also damage your implants in the long run. Like bruxism, a misaligned bite puts unnecessary pressure on the jawbone and the implant itself. To prevent implant failure, get in touch with your dentist as soon as you notice that you’re bruxing or have a misaligned bite.
Food Impaction: A Preventable Cause
Misaligned teeth with gaps that begin to widen could lead to another major cause of implant failure: food impaction. It is the forceful wedging of food in the crevices between the teeth and the gums. It can lead to bacterial buildup and infection.
While infection in the area surrounding the implant is the primary cause of early implant failure, it can also trigger late implant failure if the bone recedes and bacteria builds-up in the resulting spaces. The resulting infection can lead to peri-implantitis, a disease that causes inflammation in the surrounding gum and bone. You can easily avoid it, though, with proper brushing and flossing.
All the information above proves that you can’t afford to be careless with your oral hygiene, especially if you have a dental implant. Osseointegration doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of success but proper post-implant care can.
Chicago Dental Care can give you more pointers about dental implantation. Contact us to schedule an appointment.