Dental implants are increasingly becoming popular. Many patients can attest that implants have many advantages and are more realistic and comfortable than dentures. Despite being much better than dentures in many ways, dental implants can fail and require removal, although the risk of failure is minimal (usually about 4 percent). Fortunately, you can minimise this risk by observing the following tips.
1. Ensure You Take All Your Medications
In some circumstances, the dentist may prescribe some medications for preventing infections. Make sure you take the medications as prescribed. Don't miss a dose or stop taking the course halfway through just because you feel better. Trust the dentist and take your medicine in full and as per the instructions. If you experience a problem with the medicine or have any other query, always consult the dentist.
2. Don't Smoke
According to dentists, people who do not smoke have a lower risk of experiencing implant failure (usually below 2 percent) compared to smokers. Smoking increases the chances of your dental implants failing. Research shows that smokers have a very high risk of experiencing implant failure (about 16 percent). Therefore, if you're a smoker and would like your implants to last a long time, you should quit smoking. However, quitting can be difficult, especially for addicts. Nonetheless, you can still minimise the risk of implant failure by restraining from smoking for two to three weeks to allow the gums to recover and heal. Smoke can have adverse effects on the gums and increase the chances of catching an infection. If you find it extremely hard to manage without smoking, you can use nicotine patches, or try therapy for smoking cessation.
2. Ensure Your Mouth Is Always Clean
One of the main reasons why dental implants fail is poor oral hygiene. Once you have had a dental implant surgery, you need to make sure that you observe good oral hygiene by cleaning your mouth regularly and carefully. According to dentists, you should rinse your mouth using saline water and clean around the implants gently using fluoride toothpaste and a softer toothbrush. In this way, you can prevent infections and allow your implants to heal. However, cleaning your teeth does not end with the recovery; you have to maintain good dental hygiene even after the healing period to prevent accumulation of bacteria within the small spaces between your gums and the implants. Also, it's important to visit a dentist for oral checkups, and tartar and plaque removal. This will significantly reduce the risk of getting gum disease as well as reduce the chances of your implants failing.