Dental implants are an excellent way to restore your oral health if you are missing teeth. Although dental implants are safe, problems can still occur. All surgeries come with a certain level of risk, no matter how simple or common the procedure is. This article discusses some of the complications of dental implants, how to take care of implants and more.
What are dental implants?
A tooth implant is a replacement for a missing tooth that functions and looks like your natural teeth. The implants are titanium screws that the dentist inserts into your jawbone to replace your original tooth’s root.
What is the dental implant procedure like?
Here are the steps involved in dental implant surgery:
The dentist will need to extract a damaged tooth, and then the patient will have to wait for the area to heal before continuing with any other dental procedures.
After the patient’s mouth has healed from tooth extraction, the dentist will make sure the bone around where the tooth was is strong enough to hold an implant. The patient might require a bone graft to enhance bone density and encourage new bone growth. If they do get a graft, they will have to wait a while before continuing any other procedures.
Dental implant placement
The dental implant process begins with the dentist making an incision in the patient’s gums to access the underlying jawbone. Once they have exposed the bone, they will drill a hole into it and insert the metal base of the tooth implant. After the implant is placed, the patient will need to wait for the bone to grow around it. This process can take up to several months.
Placement of the abutment
Once the implant is connected to the jawbone (osseointegration), the dentist will attach an abutment that rests above the gum line. A metal rod will be attached to the base under the gum line. In certain cases, the abutment is inserted simultaneously with the dental implant. The metal rod will support the new tooth and keep it in place.
Placement of the artificial tooth
The dentist will make a mould of the patient’s teeth in order to create a crown that looks and feels just like regular teeth. When the crown is ready, the dentist will attach it to the abutment.
Dental implant complications
The success rate for tooth implants is over 95%. Although rare, there are some complications that might arise after getting dental implants. Be sure to watch out for these most common problems.
When an implant is too close to a nerve, it can cause damage. This usually manifests as tingling or numbness in the face, lips, gums, and tongue. Before your oral surgery, you and your dentist should go over the potential risks of the procedure.
Some patients may be allergic to titanium or another metal, even though this is extremely rare. An allergic reaction is characterised by changes in taste, tingling, or inflammation and swelling in the affected area. If you’re allergic to titanium alloy, don’t worry, other materials can be used instead. You will just need to get a new implant. If you believe you might be allergic to your implant, contact your dentist immediately.
Protrusion into the sinus cavity
In extremely rare circumstances, an implant in the upper jaw could stick out into the sinus cavity. This may result in pain and other problems in the sinuses, as well as a heightened danger of dental implant failure.
A dental implant that has come loose is the most common complication. There are numerous possible causes for this problem.
Sometimes, the jaw bone is not sturdy enough to support an implant because of age-related bone loss.
Additional factors like poor dental hygiene, gum disease, and smoking can cause your implant to come loose. If you believe this is the case for you, set up a meeting with your dentist as soon as possible.
Micro-movement is slight shifting or movement of an implant that usually isn’t severe. Warning signs that a small, imperceptible movement of the teeth around the implant is happening are feeling tightness in your teeth or seeing a shift in position when you look at the implant in the mirror. If you think you have this issue, please reach out to your dentist.
Implants can also lead to infection. The area around the implant can become swollen and infected, resulting in pain or even fever. To avoid infection, follow your dentist’s post-operative instructions and call them immediately if you notice any signs of infection.
Who is a candidate for dental implants?
Are you questioning whether or not you should get dental implants? Here’s how to tell!
Good dental health and hygiene
The ideal candidate for this procedure will have no infections or other dental problems that could compromise the success of the surgery. After getting implants, excellent oral care is essential, especially for the gums surrounding the implant. Maintaining your daily oral hygiene regimen and seeing your dentist regularly are crucial for keeping your implants healthy and avoiding other mouth-related problems.
People who use tobacco products are not good candidates for this procedure because smoking and tobacco get in the way of healing in the mouth and can reduce the chances of a successful implant. Your oral health will improve significantly if you stop smoking cigarettes!
Adequate bone density
An adequate amount of bone density is necessary to provide security and support for the implant. The stability of the implants relies heavily on the strength of the jaw. People who have lost bone in their jawbone can still receive dental implants; however, they will need to go through another surgery to rebuild the bone first.
Your gums must be healthy for the dentist to work on them during the dental implant procedure. Thus, patients who have gum infections like gingivitis or periodontal disease would not likely be ideal candidates.
Excessive teeth grinding and clenching can put undue stress on implants, which often results in implant failure. If grinding your teeth is something you do, ask your dentist about nightguards. Nightguards help to protect your smile from the damage that can be caused by tooth grinding.
How to take care of dental implants?
Here are some easy and effective ways to make sure your dental implants last.
Brush and floss every day
Dental implants need to be cared for just like natural teeth. This means that implants should be brushed twice daily, for two minutes at a time. Daily flossing is also necessary. Make sure to floss around the base of your implant every day to remove any food debris that could cause problems. By brushing and flossing every day, you stop the build-up of plaque and bacteria along the gum line, which causes gum disease.
Change your toothbrush
Every three months, you should get a new toothbrush. When your toothbrush’s bristles start to fray, and the colour fades (which happens every 3 months on average), you’ll need to replace it with a new one. Changing your toothbrush out for a new one regularly gets rid of dental plaque and bacteria from your mouth. Not to mention, changing toothbrushes also inhibits any overgrowth of bacteria on your current brush.
Drink more water
If you aren’t consuming enough water every day, your body doesn’t have the liquid it needs to stay hydrated. All of your tissues are affected when your body becomes dehydrated, leading to a possible case of dry mouth.
And a dry mouth promotes bacterial growth, which is not good news for your tooth implants and oral health.
To keep your smile looking its best, you need to make sure your implants are clean and free of bacteria.
Stay away from habits that can damage your tooth implants
While dental implants are known for their strength and durability, they are not completely indestructible, and certain behaviours can increase the risk of them becoming damaged. Habits like nail biting, chewing on pens or ice, using your teeth to open packages or hold things, and chewing on extremely hard foods might all potentially damage your dental implant and the attached prosthetic.
Get the right dental supplies
Make sure you have the right dental supplies on hand so that you can take care of your teeth and dental implants properly.
A soft-bristled toothbrush that is long enough to reach the back of your mouth will be ideal. If you’re struggling to brush your teeth properly, using an electric toothbrush can be a good way to take care of dental implants. If you want to make flossing easier, consider getting a small interdental brush and floss threader specifically for cleaning around implants. In addition, water flossers are excellent for cleaning around dental implants, and they’re often more manageable than regular floss.
Benefits of dental implants
Dental implants offer a number of benefits. Let’s take a look at them
1. Dental implants prevent jaw deterioration
Losing a tooth impacts not only your smile and confidence but also your jawbone’s health. When you have teeth, the roots provide stimulation to keep your jawbone healthy. But when you lose a tooth, that pressure is gone too. An implant is a replacement for your tooth’s root. It will fill the space in your smile after losing a tooth and keeps your jawbone intact, which protects your face’s shape over time.
2. Dental implants prevent cavities
When a tooth is lost, the teeth surrounding the empty space are no longer held securely in place. Over time, you may notice these teeth begin to tilt or become loose. When your teeth shift, you are more likely to experience tooth decay. This is because plaque and bacteria can easily hide in the places created by crooked teeth, causing cavities. Dental implants don’t get cavities! Cavities form when bacteria accumulates on teeth, causing the enamel to break down. However, since dental implants are made out of titanium (a non-porous material), they’re resistant to this type of build-up and decay.
3. Dental implants retain more of your teeth
Dental bridges place crowns on adjacent teeth by filing them down, which weakens otherwise healthy teeth. Dental implants don’t require damaging adjacent teeth, meaning your natural teeth can keep their healthy enamel while your implant is filling the space of the missing tooth.
4. Dental implants improve your speech
When you have missing teeth or wear dentures, it alters the way you speak. Gaps between your teeth can cause you to lisp, while dentures that don’t fit snugly can slip and slide around, making it difficult to pronounce words correctly. Implants are a stable way to support your dental restorations, such as crowns or dentures. You can speak and eat just as you would with natural teeth.
Restore your smile with dental implants at No Gaps Dental
Our team of experienced dental professionals is dedicated to providing high-quality care and attention when it comes to teeth implants and other restorative dental procedures. With years of experience in teeth implant placements, our dentists will ensure your teeth implant is fitted perfectly for maximum lasting results.
Book your appointment or call us on (02) 8007 6727 today and find out how we can help restore your smile!
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.
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