3 Steps to Dental Implant Success

Posted on: 27 May 2016

Dental implants are a very popular form of cosmetic dentistry, as they permanently replace missing teeth to restore the beauty of a smile. Dental implants have a very high success rate of over 96 percent, but occasionally they can fail to integrate with the jaw. Here are three things you can do to maximize the chance of your dental implants succeeding.

1. Quit Smoking

There's a huge difference between dental implant success rates in smokers and non-smokers. More than 98 percent of non-smokers receive dental implant treatment that is successful in restoring their smiles, compared to less than 85 percent of smokers. The chemicals in smoke slow down healing and cause gum irritation, reducing your chance of becoming a dental implant success story.

Your dentist will likely recommend that you quit smoking before having dental implant surgery. At the very least, you'll need to stay off the cigarettes for two weeks after the surgery to allow your implant site to heal. Talk to your doctor about getting help to quit smoking. Kicking the habit not only improves your chances of successfully restoring your smile, but also benefits your overall health.

2. Make Dental Hygiene a Priority

Poor oral hygiene is the primary cause of dental implant failures. After oral surgery, keeping your mouth clean has to be your number one priority. Use a soft toothbrush to gently clean your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. This is a good time to become extra vigilant about flossing every day. Finally, using a mouth rinse can help to flush bacteria and bits of food away from the implant, helping to keep it clean so it can heal correctly.

3. Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Over the long term, grinding your teeth can lead to dental implant failure. If you know that you grind your teeth, ask your dentist for advice to help you quit. This may include using relaxation techniques to relieve the stress that leads to daytime teeth grinding or wearing a mouth guard to protect your implants from the effects of grinding your teeth while you sleep. Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can damage both dental implants and natural teeth, so it's important to tackle this bad habit as soon as you can.

Be a Success Story

If you follow these tips, as well as doing everything that your dentist advises, your chances of successfully restoring your smile with dental implants are very high.