If you are ready to get dental implants, you are not alone. Dentists place approximately 5 million implants annually in the U.S. Each of these implants replaces a missing tooth or series of teeth. While dental implant surgery is a very invasive procedure, it has a success rate of a 95%. Here are some things you can do to help ensure your success.
Share Your Medical History
One of the most important things to do during your initial appointment when considering dental implants is to share your complete medical history with your dentist. Your dentist needs to know any medical conditions you may have and any medication you take for those conditions.
Your prescription list should include your prescription, over-the-counter medications, and vitamins and supplements. Some medications that potentially have harmful interactions with your implants include the following:
- Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (Antidepressants)
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Osteoporosis medications
- Chemotherapy drugs
Some of these medications can interfere with integrating your implant into your jawbone. Even if you start taking one of these drugs following your implant surgery, you need to notify your doctor to ensure it does not lead to implant failure.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Bacteria and infection can also put your implant at risk of failure. The best way to avoid both is to maintain a good oral hygiene routine before and after dental implant surgery. It is crucial to ensure that your surgery site remains free of food particles and bacteria. Both can increase your risk of infection.
Infected gum tissue can lead to severe complications that can delay or even stop your healing following surgery. If not addressed, bacteria can cause bone loss around your dental implants. To avoid infection and reduce bacteria, your dentist will probably provide you with antibiotics and an antimicrobial rinse following your surgery.
Stop All Tobacco Usage
If you smoked before your dental implant surgery, your dentist will explain the risk tobacco products pose to your surgical sites. Most dentists will not proceed with the procedure until you have been tobacco-free for a specific period.
You must not only stop using tobacco products but not resume using them until after you have fully healed. Smoking and chewing tobacco releases nicotine that restricts the blood flow to your gums. This restricted blood flow weakens your body's immune system and makes it difficult for your surgery site to heal and osteointegration to occur.
Speak to a dentist to learn more about implant dentistry.