Dental implants are one of the most reliable treatments as they boast a 95% success rate. Understanding how to care for your implant will help you avoid implant failure and becoming one of the 5% of unsuccessful cases. Here are some of the signs of implant failure and the steps you should take to protect your investment.
Early Signs of Failure
Early implant failure typically occurs during the first three months as the implant is trying to integrate successfully with your jawbone. There are many circumstances that can cause early failure such as:
- Autoimmune diseases – Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis can affect the success of your implant.
- Medications – Certain medications such as bisphosphonates, or medications for bone health can affect dental implants.
- Poor health – Good overall health is critical for the success of your dental implant.
- Infection – An infection can prevent an implant from successfully integrating with your jawbone.
A dental implant that fails one to ten years after placement is considered a late failure. Some of the factors that contribute to late implant failure are:
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Bruxism – or clenching and grinding your teeth
- Poor oral hygiene – Consistent brushing and flossing is critical for implant health
- Lack of gum tissue surrounding the implant crown
- Lack of healthy bone to properly support the implant
Symptoms of Implant Failure
How will you know if your implant is unhealthy or failing? Here are some common symptoms to be aware of:
- Loosening or shifting of your implant tooth
- Severe or constant pain or discomfort
- Gum recession around your implant tooth
- Pain or difficulty when chewing or biting
- Swelling or inflammation of your gums
How to Protect Your Investment
Prevention is the best way to protect your investment in your oral health. Excellent home care with consistent brushing and flossing twice a day combined with an antibacterial mouth rinse will keep your implant clean and healthy.
Regular visits to your dentist every six months to check the health of your implant will also help keep it from failing.
Eating a bone-healthy diet including eggs and fish and avoiding hard foods will keep your implant healthy for many years to come.
Dental implants are an excellent investment in your oral health as they can often last a lifetime with the right care. Contact your dentist to learn more about dental implants.
About the Author
Cornerstone Dental Arts combines the knowledge, expertise, and talents of four dentists to provide patients in Knoxville, TN with the excellent dentistry and service they deserve. Patients will find a wide array of dental services and a welcoming environment to meet their needs.