If you are receiving a dental implant to replace a lost tooth, you may feel that there is little that you need to do to help ensure that your tooth replacement process is a success. After all, with a dental implant, the dentist inserts a metal rod or screw through your gums and into the bone of your jaw to act as a prosthetic tooth root. The bar cannot decay like natural tooth material. In addition, the stabilization of the implant is based on a natural process called osseointegration in which the cells of the jawbone grow around the implant, integrating with the titanium device.
Still, there are things that a dental implant patient may do unknowingly that could sabotage the success of their implant. Here are a few of them.
Failing to Brush and Floss Sufficiently Around the Implant
Although a dental implant cannot decay, the area around the implantation site must remain as clean as possible. The gingival tissues surrounding the wound are still subject to inflammation from the acids produced by the bacteria in plaque.
As the gums become inflamed, a condition called peri-implantitis may develop. This condition can prevent the soft tissues from healing around the implant properly, delaying the full stabilization and integration of the device.
As a result, it is imperative that you brush and floss around an implant as directed. The dentist may also prescribe an antibacterial mouth rinse to further help keep the mouth clean.
Chewing on Hard Items
To successfully remain in the mouth, a dental implant must not move from its original position in the jawbone. The movement breaks the bond formed by osseointegration, and the bond does not regenerate. Thus, once the connection with the jawbone is lost, the implantation procedure fails.
The bite pressure received by a dental implant as you chew on hard items, such as pencils, ice, or hard candy, can cause an implant to shift. A dental implant is as stable in the mouth as a natural tooth. However, even a natural tooth can be broken or loosened by abnormally severe bite pressure.
Also, the bite pressure produced as the teeth are pressed forcefully against the implant can be problematic. As a result, a mouthguard should be worn to prevent implant damage from bruxism or trauma during a sporting event.
To learn more ways to facilitate the success of your dental implant, contact a dentist in your local area.