A dental implant is a common alternative to dentures and dental bridges that replace a missing tooth or teeth. An implant acts as a more permanent replacement by using a metal post to replace the root and base of the tooth. A crown is attached to the top, and the dental implant looks and acts like a normal tooth.
There are several benefits when you choose a dental implant over other restorative methods. These include improved chewing efficiency, more realistic cosmetic appearance and as a preventative method for bone degeneration. While dental implants are more popular than other dental restorations such as dentures or bridges, they are not for everyone and do have some risk factors involved. Like with many dental treatments, if you do not follow proper dental hygiene at home, then you are setting yourself up for issues.
A build-up of bacteria in the area surrounding the dental implant can cause an infection. Following proper dental care practices are helpful to avoid this, but it also occurs more frequently in diabetics and smokers.
Sometimes the immune system fights against the dental implant, and it may be rejected. People who smoke are more susceptible to this than others. Quitting smoking after the surgery is crucial. In fact, whether or not you use tobacco products may be a determining factor in whether or not you’re an actual candidate for implants. Patients that grind their teeth will also need to disclose this to their dentist since it can affect the implant.
Just like all other dental procedures, it is important to discuss all the pros and cons of dental implants. Certain conditions may increase the odds of the issues above, and your dentist may have a better alternative that is just right for you.