Dental implants have been around for more than 40 years.
During that time they’ve earned a success rate of better than 95%. However, they can fail in certain circumstances. Should this happen, it’s important for you to see an implant dentist in Southfield right away. In most cases, the underlying cause can be corrected.
Why Dental Implants Can Fail
A dental implant is like a building. Its success depends upon the foundation that supports it. In the case of implants, that foundation is the bones inside your jaw.
Many things can threaten their integrity, including:
- Bacterial infection spreading from a damaged or diseased tooth.
- Physical damage to the jaw from an accident or medical condition such as a tumor.
- Failure of the implant to bond with the jaw. This is rare but not unheard of.
- Side effects from certain medications or forms of therapy that use radiation.
- Complications caused by diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and other major illnesses.
- Lifestyle factors such as smoking, poor dietary choices, drinking or illicit drug use.
Should your implant fail, your dentist in Southfield will perform a thorough examination to determine the cause. In most cases, prompt attention can resolve the issue and restore the implant. Here are some of the more common treatment approaches:
- A bone graft to help your jaw provide the necessary support.
- Antibiotics to treat underlying infections.
- Removal of the old implant, followed by a period of recovery before replacement.
- Analgesics to help you manage any discomfort you may feel.
- Lifestyle changes to promote better health.
How to Keep Your Implant Safe and Strong
It’s important to remember that a dental implant literally fuses with your body, becoming part of it. The same steps you take to protect your teeth and gums will help it to stay strong and keep doing its job.
It’s especially important to follow these steps:
- Brushing at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a brand of toothpaste recommended by the ADA. Brushing after each meal is even better.
- Flossing at least once a day. Flossing strings are available in a variety of widths and with wax coatings to make the process easier and more gentle. You can even find brands with yummy sugar-free flavoring.
- Eating a nutritious diet. Your teeth and bones need calcium, protein and vitamins to stay healthy. On the other hand, sugary treats and starchy snacks can harm your teeth and gums. Limit their consumption or stay away from them altogether.
- Avoiding tobacco in all forms. Chewing tobacco and snuff are in many ways just as harmful as cigarettes. Join a smoking cessation group or ask your healthcare professional about medications that can help you to kick the habit for good.
- Seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. This is a smart way to prevent dental health issues before they cause implant failure.
A dental implant is an investment in a better life. Like any investment, it requires a reasonable amount of care. But the benefits you’ll get in return will have you smiling for a long, long time to come.
About the Author
Dr. Greg Young earned his DDS degree from University of Detroit. He’s an acknowledged expert in the field of implant dentistry. You can reach his office online or by calling (248) 557-5756.