11 Mar Six Tips to Help Your Dental Implants Last a Lifetime
One of the largest developments in dentistry in the last forty years, dental implants can help patients regain your confident smile. This state-of-the-art dental procedure replaces dentures and dental bridges with permanent, durable teeth. No longer do patients have to worry about their dentures slipping or being unable to eat some of their favorite foods. With dental implants, patients are restored to the oral function that they enjoyed before they lost teeth.
Dental implant surgery begins with a dentist placing a titanium tooth “root“ into the jawbone. It takes several months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. The wonder of the dental implant process is that the implant actually fuses with the jaw, creating a stable, long-lasting foundation for a new tooth. Sometimes, dentists place a temporary tooth during the time of healing. After the implant fully integrates with the jawbone, the dentist will place the new permanent tooth in place.
The permanent dental implant tooth is impervious to decay and may last a lifetime. However, because the dental implant process is so time-consuming and can be expensive, patients would be wise to take proper care of their implants. Here are six tips to ensure that your dental implants will last for the rest of your life.
Follow proper after-care procedures
The process of placing the titanium tooth root is a form of oral surgery. Follow the post-operative care procedures that your dentist recommends. The gums must heal properly around the tooth root, so paying close attention to dental hygiene is important during this time period. If you don’t keep your mouth as clean as possible, you risk infection and may have to have follow-up visits with the dentist to address these problems. You should eat a soft food diet until your mouth is healed up. Of course, you will want your permanent tooth installed as soon as possible, but be patient. The whole procedure, including installation of your permanent tooth, may take several months.
Take care of your dental health
Even though your implant is impervious to decay, you will still need take good care of your oral health. Even if the teeth can’t decay, your gums can be greatly affected by the quality of your oral care. If you begin getting gum disease, you risk having your implants fail. Therefore, dentists recommend that even those who have dental implants should brush and floss daily. Additionally, you will still need to see your dentist at least twice a year for cleaning and maintenance of your oral health.
Take care of your overall health
Your dental health is closely related to your overall health, even if you sport a full set of dental implants. Your gums and your jawbone can be affected by serious health complications like osteoporosis and diabetes. For this reason, if you have certain health issues, your dentist may want to confer with your doctor before beginning the implant procedures. Be sure to be completely honest about your health when you discuss this procedure with your dentist. Even if you don’t currently have diabetes or another chronic illness, you will want to take good care of your overall health to ensure your implants last as long as possible.
Don’t use tobacco products
If you use tobacco products of any kind, you could jeopardize the success of your implant procedure. Smoking can dry out your mouth which can damage your teeth and gums. Tobacco in any form can lead to gum disease and tooth loss, so if you currently use tobacco products, you should quit before you get implants. If you’ve used tobacco in the past or are tempted to start, don’t do it. Your implants need a healthy mouth to last a long time, and tobacco will damage your mouth.
Be smart about what goes in your mouth.
While dental implants are very durable, they’re not indestructible. You’ll want to take care of them exactly like you do your other teeth. Don’t chew things like ice, popcorn seeds or other very hard objects. Additionally, don’t use your teeth as a tool to open things and don’t bite your nails, chew on random objects, or brush too hard.
Address teeth grinding ASAP
Grinding your teeth as you sleep can cause jaw problems, headaches, and can crack or break your teeth. Even implanted teeth are at risk if you grind your teeth at night. Get a mouth guard and wear it to protect your pearly whites. If you’re not sure if you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist to examine your teeth for the tell-tale wear marks on your teeth.
Once the dental implant procedure is complete, it will be like having a brand new set of natural teeth. However, just like your natural teeth, the implants need TLC to last the rest of your life. To learn more about dental implants in Mesa, Arizona, call Dental Brothers today.