If you have recently received a dental implant, you may be concerned about the longevity of the device. Nevertheless, your dental implant is designed to remain in place throughout your lifetime.
A dental implant is inserted into the bone of the jaw during a short in-office surgical procedure. Once the implant, which is made of titanium metal, is placed in the bone, it is allowed to heal in place over the course of several months.
The healing process, which is called osseointegration, allows the implant to become stable and secure within the jawbone. After osseointegration is complete, the implant is ready to be covered by an abutment and dental crown or loaded with a multi-teeth appliance, such as an implant-supported denture.
The implant wound should heal without incidence and offer you many years of aesthetic appeal and chewing functionality. However, without the proper care and precautions, a dental implant can fail.
Here are a few things that you can do to help ensure that your implant remains problem-free.
Stop Using Tobacco Products
Tobacco products, such as cigarettes and chewing tobacco, can negatively impact the healing of a dental implant wound. Chemicals within the tobacco inflame the soft tissues, making it difficult for them to heal quickly. Additionally, the blood of a smoker tends to supply less oxygen to the wound. The blood circulation to the wound may also be impaired.
It is best to stop using tobacco products well before the date of a dental implant surgery. In addition, no tobacco products should be ingested throughout the healing process of the wound.
Keep Your Mouth Clean
Your mouth harbors many different microbes that can cause an infection. Thus, it is important to keep the oral cavity as clean as possible as the implant wound heals. Bacteria that become trapped within the folds of the gums around an implant can cause a condition called peri-implantitis. The condition describes the inflammation and infection of the gingival tissues.
To help prevent infections and inflammation of the gums around a dental implant, you should brush and floss regularly. In addition, an antibacterial mouth rinse should be used to help kill microbes that a toothbrush and dental floss may not dislodge. The mouth rinse should include antimicrobial agents that are not inflammatory or drying to the mouth, such as chlorhexidine.
For more ways to keep your dental implants problem-free, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.