Dental implants have a remarkable success rate. In fact, they work just like they should in over 98% of patients who get them. However, that doesn’t mean that implant failure doesn’t occur. There are certain situations, habits and even medications that can threaten your dental implant’s ability to fuse to the jawbone and provide a long-term anchor for your prosthetic tooth or teeth. Fortunately, you’ll find that these risk factors are largely within your control so it is important to educate yourself before your implant procedure.
You’ll be strongly advised to stop smoking for a certain period of time before your implant surgery as well as afterwards. Among other things, nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it inhibits proper blood flow to your oral tissues and can drastically impede the necessary healing process that needs to occur after your implants are surgically placed.
#2 Poor Overall Health or Uncontrolled Medical Condition
The success of your dental implants largely relies on your body’s ability to heal itself. Therefore, patients need to be in good health with a healthy immune system. Unmanaged diabetes or an autoimmune disorder left untreated could sabotage your implant success. Proper nutrition and adequate sleep will also foster better implant healing.
#3 Certain Medications
This risk factor is still under review in some aspects. However, recent research has indicated that certain prescriptions or medication may hinder implant success. One study in 2016 by the McGill research team revealed that heartburn medication may need to be stopped temporarily if you are getting dental implants. The same study, however, announced that taking beta blockers can be beneficial, as they can aid in bone integration of implants. Another study linked an increased failure rate in dental implants in patients receiving antidepressant medication, but further evaluation is needed to support the claim. The short – always disclose your medication list to your implants dentist prior to oral surgery!
#4 Gum Disease
When in its advanced stages, gum disease can destroy the gum tissues as well as the underlying bone. It may actually be what led you to lose your teeth and need dental implants in the first place. It comes to no surprise that the gums must be free of disease and infection if you want to retain successful dental implants. The best way to promote optimal gum health is by brushing and flossing every day and seeing your dentist twice a year (or more).
At the office of Dr. Wayne Suway, we want to give patients every opportunity to enjoy a lifetime of successful dental implants. If you are concerned about your risk for implant failure, please let us know. We have a highly skilled team of implants dentists who are known for unrivaled results in restorative dentistry.