white dental implant in gray mouth mold

How to Prevent Dental Implant Failure

If you’re missing any teeth, dental implants are a long-lasting and natural-looking way to restore your smile. Whether you replace a single tooth or a full arch, dental implants can last a lifetime with proper placement and the right care. Unlike bridges or dentures, dental implants restore the roots of teeth. This not only improves the function of your teeth, but also prevents the bone loss that would gradually affect your appearance. 

However, even though dental implants have a very high success rate, there is a slight risk of failure if the right precautions aren’t taken. In this post, we’ll explore the leading causes of dental implant failure, and provide some tips on how to prevent it. 

What Causes Dental Implant Failure?

1. Poor Osseointegration

The success of dental implants relies on the implant properly fusing with the jawbone—this process is known as osseointegration. If the implant doesn’t fuse correctly, it can cause instability and implant failure. 

2. Infections

Bacterial infections at the implant site are another common cause of implant failure. An infection can compromise the healing process as well as the stability of the implant. 

3. Periodontal Disease

Chronic infections like gum disease can weaken the tissue and bone surrounding the implant, leading to implant failure and other complications. Gum disease must be treated prior to surgery to ensure successful osseointegration. 

4. Smoking and Vaping

Nicotine restricts blood flow, which affects the body’s ability to heal. Smoking or vaping can significantly increase the risk of complications during the implant recovery process. 

5. Peri-implantitis

This infectious disease causes inflammation in the soft tissues surrounding the implant, as well as bone loss in the supporting jaw bone. 

6. Poor Placement

If the implant is not placed in the precise position, it compromises the quality and fit of the final crown. A poorly fitting crown can trap food, create awkward bite forces, and lead to bone loss around the implant.  At Copper Creek Dental, we use custom surgical guides to ensure highly precise implant placement every time. 

How to Prevent Dental Implant Failure

Follow Your Dentist’s Postoperative Instructions

One of the most important steps in ensuring the success of your dental implant surgery is adhering to the postoperative instructions your dentist provides. Following your dentist’s instructions will ensure proper healing and long-lasting results. You will receive detailed post-operative instructions that are tailored to your unique needs. You’ll also need to attend several follow-up appointments to check on the osseointegration progress.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Daily oral care is crucial in preventing infections and improving the longevity of your implants. Regularly brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash will help keep the implant site clean and free of harmful bacteria. Make sure to be extra gentle near the surgical sites. Your dentist may also recommend rinsing with warm salt water (1 tsp salt to 8 oz warm water) to soothe pain and prevent infections. Start by rinsing every 2 to 3 hours for several days, then rinse 3 to 4 times a day for two weeks. 

Only Eat Soft Foods After Surgery

In the initial healing period, it’s important to avoid putting excessive pressure on the implant site. Following a soft food diet for the first few days or weeks (depending on your dentist’s instructions) can minimize stress on the implants and ensure proper osseointegration. Opt for foods like mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, soup, yogurt, and smoothies, gradually reintroducing solid foods according to your dentist’s instructions.

Avoid Smoking and Vaping

Whether you smoke or vape, tobacco use poses a significant risk factor for dental implant failure. Because nicotine restricts blood flow and impedes your body’s ability to heal, smoking and vaping make it harder for the implant to properly fuse with the jawbone. Avoiding smoking and vaping before and after your surgery is a crucial step in preventing implant failure. 

Choose an Experienced Dentist for Your Dental Implants

If you are considering dental implants, you should only trust a dentist who has the experience and technology to ensure precise, successful placement. At Copper Creek Dental in South Jordan, we can give you a smile that will last a lifetime. Whether you need to replace a single tooth or a full set of teeth, our skilled team delivers beautiful, long-lasting results. Give us a call today to schedule a dental implant consultation. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/15/2024). Photo by Bogdan condr on Unsplash

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