6 Tips to ensure your Dental Implants last a Lifetime
When you invest in dental implants you are investing in a dental procedure that will last you a lifetime. Dental Implants is a state-of-the-art dental procedure that has replaced dental bridges and dentures with durable, permanent teeth. Gone are the days, when ill-fit dentures would be a source of embarrassment and discomfort to the wearer. With dental implants, patients can flaunt their confident, beautiful smiles.
Technically, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root (made of titanium) surgically placed into the jaw bone by an oral surgeon, on top of which a prosthetic tooth or bridge is placed. It takes several months for the titanium root to fuse with the jaw bone. This process is called osseointegration. It creates a stable, long-lasting foundation for a new prosthetic tooth or ‘crown’.
A healthy, fully fused implant can easily last a lifetime, provided the patient takes optimal levels of oral care during the healing stages and even after that. Here are 6 dental implant tips to make dental implants last a lifetime.
1. Take care of your oral hygiene:
The health of your implants is directly dependent on the health of your teeth and gums. Gum disease and tooth decay can put you at risk of implant failure. Make sure you are following a good oral hygiene routine each day such as brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once a day to make dental implants last a lifetime. Rinsing your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash also removes any leftover food particles and freshens your breath.
2. Follow dental implants treatment post-care instructions:
Any form of surgery requires you to follow the post-operative care instructions given by your oral surgeon. Post-surgery, you might be instructed to limit your diet to a soft diet and no spicy or hot food.
Some other post-dental implant procedure instructions include:
- Rinsing your mouth with saline water several times a day.
- Isolating the implant site
- Taking the prescribed painkiller at intervals
- Cleaning the implant site carefully
By following your doctor’s instructions you can make dental implants last a lifetime.
3. Avoid tobacco products:
Using tobacco products of any kind can jeopardize the longevity of your implants. This might happen for several reasons. Smoking increases the chances of gum disease and bone decay, so if you are currently using tobacco products it’s highly advisable you quit before your implant surgery.
Nicotine also reduces the flow of blood to soft tissues, therefore hampering the healing process after implant surgery. Lastly, smoking also decreases the success rate of bone graft used during implant surgery to compensate for the lost bone. To keep your mouth healthy and ensure your implants last a lifetime, you have to quit tobacco products long after the surgery is performed.
4. Be careful of how and what you chew:
You might have never thought about this before, but you have to be careful about how and what you chew to make dental implants last a lifetime. Your dental implants are durable, but not indestructible and you have to look after them exactly how you would for your other natural teeth.
Make sure you use your teeth only to chew food, and not as a bottle opener or to tear or break foreign objects. Another strict no-no is chewing on ice, hard candy, or uncooked popcorn kernels.
5. Never miss your dentist appointments:
If you are among those who only visit your dentist when you experience a dental problem, that needs to change if you want to make dental implants last a lifetime. Depending on your needs, your dentist might ask you to visit them at least once in 6 months, after the entire dental implant procedure has been completed.
At the appointment, your dentist will thoroughly examine the health of your gums and teeth and the condition of your dental implant and crown. These checkups are important to detect any sign of decay or tartar build-up early on, to resolve them before they progress to become something serious.
6. Do not take teeth grinding lightly :
While grinding your teeth might not directly damage the titanium implant placed deep inside the jaw, but it can cause your dental restoration i.e., your dental crown to wear off or break down, which can be quite an inconvenience to replace. Habitual, prolonged teeth grinding can cause premature tooth wear and serious jaw issues such as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.
If you unconsciously grind your teeth while sleeping at night, it is advisable to get a custom-fit night guard made by your dentist to protect your pearly whites and prevent excess strain on your jaw joints.
The journey of dental implant treatment is a long but fruitful one. The team at Dental World supports you on this journey through every step of the way. Right from the implant consultation to the surgery and even post dental implants procedure care to make dental implants last a lifetime and ensure your overall oral well-being.