Dental implants provide the most natural looking and feeling tooth replacement option. Your dentist will insert one or more implant posts into your jaw. Once they heal in place, one or more dental crowns are attached, which mimic your real teeth in look and feel. Although implant surgery is relatively low-risk, there are issues that can arise. Knowing the common problems and how you can prevent them improves your chances of a successful implant surgery.
Infections are the most common issue you can expect with a dental implant, but there are ways to minimize the chances of one occurring. Your dentist will likely provide you with an antibiotic, which may be instructed to begin before the actual surgery date. Make sure to take all of the medication as directed and complete the entire course of medication. If you are a smoker or use tobacco products, it is a good idea to quit before your procedure and until you have completely healed. Nicotine and smoking can reduce blood flow, which inhibits healing and can increase the chances of infection. You should also let your oral surgeon know if you have any health conditions that may impact healing or circulation, such as diabetes.
Bone fractures aren't as common as infection, but they can occur. You are more likely to suffer a bone fracture if you grind your teeth or clench your jaw. Most people grind without realizing, most often when sleeping. An implant post has less give than a natural tooth root. This means when you grind, micro fractures can occur around the post since it has little give within the bone. If you grind or suspect that you grind, let your dentist know. They can fit you for a nighttime mouth guard, which will protect your implants and crowns from damage if you grind at night.
A loose implant is most often the result of bone loss around the implant site. A common cause of bone loss is bacteria below the gumline. This occurs when plaque is allowed to build up at the base of your crowns. The bacteria then gets below the gumline and attacks the bone around the implant post. This can result in the loss of an implant. Major bone loss may mean you can't get a new one installed. Fortunately, this is extremely easy to avoid. Simply schedule regular checkups and implant cleanings with your dentist so bacteria never gets a foothold in your mouth.
Contact a dentist for more information about dental implant services.