A dental implant is a synthetic tooth root that is installed by a specialized dental surgeon to substitute for lost teeth. Tooth implants are permanent, and come with a number of advantages. They are constructed with precision to look like the surrounding teeth, so no one will be able to notice that the tooth is artificial. Dental implants are not harmful to your real teeth and don’t require additional maintenance, beside brushing and flossing twice a day.
While dental implants are highly effective and can last for decades, there are certain health conditions that may reduce their success in individual cases. Peri-implantitis, for example, is a bacterial infection in the bone that is adjacent to the implant. This can lead to bone loss, abscessing, and an unsuccessful implant. Peri-implantitis can be avoided, however, with proper precaution and care.
Patients who habitually clench and grind their teeth (while sleeping or during the day) may also have a higher risk of implant failure. The grinding force created by a patient, also known as bruxism, can cause the implant to shift, especially if the surgery is fresh and still in the healing stage. If you have a history of bruxism, a mouth guard is a good solution to protect your implants from being damaged.
Patients with chronic ailments such as heart disease and type two diabetes also have a slightly higher risk of implant failure compared to patients without these conditions. Most implant dentists can craft a personalized treatment plan for your implant surgery, which details how stabilized these conditions are for each patient. As long as these illnesses remain under control by the means of doctor visits, medication, and maintaining a nutritional diet, patients with chronic diseases should still be eligible for dental implants.
In addition, people who smoke cigarettes create a higher risk for implant failure. Although smoking isn’t necessarily a health condition, it does trigger a number of health concerns that can negatively affect the implants. Specifically, smokers have a higher rate of infection after the surgery is complete. Smoking also lowers blood and oxygen flow to the surgical site, so the healing process takes longer.
Your implant dentist will discuss your health status before placing dental implants, so be sure to mention any pre-existing conditions you may have at your consultation. To learn more about dental implants and to see if you are a candidate, contact the Las Vegas office of Dr. Carlos Letelier at 702-367-6666. We look forward to seeing you smile!