A dental implant is a wise solution to a missing tooth, whether the loss occurred due to decay, disease or an injury. There is minimal risk of loss – only up to 5 percent worldwide – but quitting smoking will increase your chances of success.
Benefits of the Implants
Dental implants are permanent fixtures in your mouth. You do not have to remove them like dentures in order to clean them. They never slip while you are talking or eating or cause discomfort after the recovery period. These are all problems that can be associated with dentures or bridges. Dental implants look like real teeth, therefore increasing the patient's self-confidence.
Longevity of Dental Implants
Most implants last many years. It is common for them to last a lifetime if given the proper care. Smoking increases the risk of the implant not fusing well with the bone in your jaw.
People Who May Not be Candidates for Implants
Not everyone can get an implant. The oral surgeon must evaluate you carefully if you are a heavy smoker, or have diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular problems. People who have had radiation in the neck or head area are often not good candidates for the implants. The rate of success with an implant is much higher if the patient's gums are healthy and there is plenty of jawbone to enable the implant to fuse.
Indications that the Dental Implant is Failing
Swelling or discomfort may indicate that the implant is failing. Another indication is if it feels loose or the gum around it shrinks.
Problems Caused by Smoking
Over time, smoking decreases the amount of blood flow that enters your gum tissue. Therefore, this decreases the amount of oxygen as well. This is because smoking tends to shrink the blood capillaries in your gums. If the individual totally stops smoking, generally the normal blood flow can be restored in about 12 months and therefore increases the chances of a successful implantation. Even if you cannot quit smoking, cutting down on the amount of cigarettes you smoke before getting the implant is a wise idea.
Care of the Implant
Patients who routinely practice good oral hygiene are likely to take proper care of the dental implant. Since these teeth replacements are costly and often not covered by dental insurance, it is smart to take every step you can to ensure success. Routine checkups are imperative after the surgery. Daily flossing and brushing is just as important in the care of your implant as it is for your natural teeth.
For more information, contact Cumberland Periodontal Associate or a similar organization.