Considerations To Increase Your Chances Of A Successful Dental Implant

Dental implants are a more secure way to replace missing teeth. Since the process of getting implants can be time-consuming and require multiple procedures, you want to do everything you can to increase your odds of a successful procedure. Before you make the choice to have implants, there are several factors you need to consider.

Lifestyle And Oral Hygiene

Before choosing implants, you need to seriously commit to reducing lifestyle and oral-hygiene risk factors that can cause your implant to fail. Smoking is a significant problem because it can increase healing time or contribute to your implants not healing at all. If poor oral hygiene and inconsistent dental care were contributing factors in the need for implants, not committing to changing these variables is a recipe for implant failure and infection. You are likely better off choosing traditional dentures if you will continue to smoke or if you will engage in inconsistent dental care.

Health Conditions

Sometimes underlying health conditions or the medications you take for them can compromise your ability to have dental implants. A major concern is poorly controlled diabetes. In general, diabetics can be at a higher risk for infection and poor wound healing. This issue is magnified if your diabetes is not controlled. Other considerations can be medications you take, such as steroids or other immunosuppressive medications. Before work begins on your implants, your dentist may advise you to stop certain medications; if this would exacerbate your underlying medical condition, prophylactic antibiotics could be an alternative.

Periodontal Disease

The need for dental implants may be related to periodontal disease, which can cause significant tooth and gum loss. You will need to go through periodontal treatments to rehabilitate your mouth well before dental implants may be a consideration. Deep cleanings will be necessary to remove tartar that is inflaming your gums, and this type of cleaning also reduces the size of pockets in your gums that can harbor bacteria. Sometimes it is also necessary to remove diseased gum tissue and wait for it to be replaced by healthy tissue. The entire process of treating periodontal disease can take months or longer, but your teeth and gums will be in a better state that is more likely to support implants.

Bone Health

The health of your underlying bone will dictate whether an implant is a possibility. If you had significant tooth loss, much of the underlying bone may have been reabsorbed, making it difficult to support the framework for implants. Bone grafting can be an option in some cases, which needs to be done after any rehabilitative work but before placing the abutments for the implants. During the bone-grafting process, healthy bone is added with the hopes that it will eventually fuse with the existing bone. Once this is successful, the underlying bone will be thicker and more durable and able to support an implant.

Alternative Procedures

If you were going to have whole-mouth implants, you may want to discuss implantable dentures as an alternative. Since there are fewer abutments that need to be placed for implantable dentures, you may be able to reduce some of the problems associated with more extensive dental work. For example, there may be a few places that have enough bone to support some abutments for implantable dentures. This may help you avoid bone grafting and a lengthier recovery time to have more abutments placed throughout your mouth. If you had previous complications while attempting to have dental implants, like infection or the abutments not healing properly, scaling down the procedure may be a way to circumvent this problem while avoiding traditional dentures.

Dental implants are an ideal way to restore missing teeth, especially if traditional dentures are the only other option. Increasing your chances of a successful implant procedure is often a matter of addressing the risk factors that are within your control.