3 Steps to Dental Implant Success

Posted on: 25 April 2018


Dental implants can be an excellent solution for people who have lost teeth due to gum disease, tooth decay, or an injury. While there have been cases of dental implants failing, the majority (around 96 percent) of implants successfully integrate with patients' smiles. If you are determined to become a dental implant success story, the following three tips can help to minimise the risk of your implants failing and needing to be removed.

1. Quit Smoking

The rate of failure for dental implants is much higher among smokers than among non-smokers. Whereas dental implants fail less than two percent of the time in people who don't smoke, the failure rate for smokers is nearly 16 percent. Giving up smoking is an excellent way to give your dental implants a good chance of success.

At the very least, you should try to avoid smoking for 14 days after the oral surgery. This will allow your gum tissue to heal in the absence of the damaging effects of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke, which can increase the chance of infection. Ask your doctor or dentist about smoking cessation therapies, such as nicotine patches, which might help you to kick the habit.

2. Maintain a Good Dental Hygiene Routine

Many cases of dental implant failure result from poor dental hygiene. Protect your new dental implants from infection by rinsing with salty water in the days immediately following surgery. As the post-surgical soreness begins to subside, use fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles to gently clean around your teeth and implants. 

Be sure to keep up a good dental hygiene routine, including daily brushing and flossing, even after the initial healing period. This will help to keep your gums healthy so they can continue to support your dental implants for years to come.

3. Take All Your Antibiotics

Dentists often prescribe antibiotics to reduce the chance of developing an infection after getting your dental implants fitted. It is very important to take the entire course of antibiotics, even if you do not have any signs of an infection. If you have side effects that bother you, contact your dentist for advice. You should also see your dentist if you start to develop signs of infection, such as pus, severe pain that you cannot control with pain medications, or swelling and redness that gets worse rather than better during the surgical recovery period.