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Dentist discusses factors that contribute to long-term success of dental implants

By Dr. Siegel | September 15, 2015 | Dental Implants.
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Happy patient Dental implant-supported teeth are designed to last just as long as you do! After all, these new teeth rebuild extracted teeth from the root up. The dental implant itself is the tooth root, while the crown is the white part everyone sees above your gums. These two pieces are joined by a connector or abutment.

Before the implant is even placed, Big Smile Dental staff will discuss factors that may affect the long-term success and lifespan of the new tooth. For instance, the negative effects of nicotine in cigarettes and chewing tobacco is well documented, but did you know this substance could also affect post-dental procedure healing? Cigarettes impair the proper blood flow needed for healing after the implant is placed.

Known in scientific-speak as bruxism, teeth grinding places excessive force on the implant-restored tooth. Even natural enamel that is stronger than bones cannot sustain the pressure caused by clenching and grinding. Chips, cracks, and fractures can result from this habit. A guard may be created to fit your mouth and protect natural and new teeth. This preventive measure also helps protect your mouth from the need for additional reactive treatments and restorations down the road.

As long as you keep up with the consistent, thorough brushing and flossing as recommended by Big Smile Dental, there is not a lot of aftercare associated with implants. In some cases, special cleaning products and brushes may be recommended for teeth that may have crowded post-treatment and, in turn, are difficult to clean well.

While the crown itself doesn’t decay, food debris can build up and cause a type of progressive disease called peri-implantitis. Like gum disease, this condition starts as inflammation but if left untreated can lead to bone loss and the failure of your implant. For these reasons, it’s important that you be able to clean the area around your implant easily. You also need to see Big Smile Dental for scheduled appointments, which may be more frequent following treatment, as the staff check to see how the implants are holding up. By keeping these follow-up appointments, any problems can be identified and tended to early in the process before they result in implant failures. Happy Patient

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