How to Prevent Dental Implant Failure
Dental implants are small titanium posts that fuse with the jaw to provide the ultimate level of stability and strength to a wide range of dental restorations. Dr. Michael Bixby coordinates dental implant treatment for our Red Bank, NJ, patients to give them the most advanced replacement for missing teeth.
Dental implants are more comfortable, secure, and durable than any other missing teeth treatment. However, patients will only experience the many benefits of dental implant treatment if osseointegration (the fusion process) is a success. To support healing and prevent dental implant failure, our patients should follow a few essential tips and after care practices, which we discuss here.
Alter the Diet as Directed
In the weeks immediately following dental implant treatment, the gums will be healing from surgery. This is also the beginning of the osseointegration process, so the jaw around the implant site will also be in the healing process. To allow oral tissues to heal properly, it is important that patients avoid subjecting them to force or pressure.
Since biting and chewing are the main source of oral stress, we advise patients to alter their diet after dental implant treatment. Specific instructions will be provided, but patients are generally told to maintain a liquid diet for 24 to 48 hours after surgery, followed by a diet of soft or pureed foods for the first week of surgical recovery. To minimize the risk of dental implant failure, it is important that our Monmouth County patients follow all instructions regarding post-dental implant diet.
Keep Up on Oral Hygiene Habits
The mouth is likely to feel sore and tender after dental implant surgery. Because the mouth feels sensitive, patients are often hesitant to resume brushing and flossing after dental implant treatment.
Unfortunately, if patients neglect oral hygiene habits after dental implant treatment, their risk of infection (and implant failure) will increase significantly. Although patients should not brush directly on the surgical site, they do need to brush and floss surrounding teeth. Patients should also rinse with warm salt water to keep the surgical site clean.
Refrain from Smoking
Smoking is known to significantly increase the risk of dental implant failure. Smoking restricts blood flow and keeps the implant site from getting sufficient oxygen and nutrients. Dr. Bixby understands that it is difficult for smokers to refrain from this addictive habit. However, if our patients want to avoid dental implant failure they need to stop using all tobacco products at least a week before dental implant surgery, and then continue to avoid them for at least two months after treatment.
Take Prescribed Medication As Directed
Infection is one of the most common complications that leads to dental implant failure. By following all these recommendations, patients can significantly decrease the risk of infection. Still, patients are likely to be prescribed an antibiotic to further minimize the risk. If any medication is prescribed patients should use it exactly as directed, until completion.
If you have more questions about dental implant treatment or the recovery process, Dr. Michael Bixby would be happy to provide you with additional information. Send us a message at your earliest convenience to learn more, or call (732) 224-1160 to schedule an appointment. We serve clients in Red Bank, Monmouth County, and other areas of New Jersey.