Each implant is a specialized rod or screw that is made of titanium. Because of its biocompatibility, titanium is the metal that is typically preferred for invasive dental and medical applications. Although the body rejects some materials as foreign substances, titanium does not usually cause a response from the immune system.
Your dentist installs a dental implant by drilling the device into the bone of your jaw. The procedure is performed in the dental office and is painless due to the use of local anesthesia.
Implants rarely fail. In fact, about 98 percent of dental implant restorations are successful. This percentage is particularly encouraging since roughly three million people in the U.S. have dental implants, and the number of implant patients is steadily growing. Still, there are instances in which an implant is unsuccessful.
Once a dental implant is installed, the wound must heal properly to prevent the failure of the device. The healing process within the bone is called osseointegration.
Osseointegration permits the bone of the jaw to connect or integrate with a dental implant. This connection allows the implant to stabilize sufficiently to support bite pressure, as well as tooth-replacement devices, such as bridges and dentures.
If osseointegration is interrupted or the soft tissues of the mouth become infected, the implant may not heal correctly. The implant wound is more likely to incur problems if the patient smokes, has unstable blood sugar levels or suffers from severe gum disease.
If you are considering getting a dental implant or already have an implant in place, it is important to refrain from using tobacco and follow your physician's advice concerning stabilizing your blood sugar. In addition, you can improve your chance of keeping your dental implant problem-free by doing the following.
Dental-implant patients sometimes develop a condition called peri-implantitis, which is a gum or gingival infection that occurs around a dental implant. Peri-implantitis is caused by oral bacteria that infect the gum tissue.
If the condition is not treated, peri-implantitis can result in inflammation and bone loss around the dental implant. As a result, the healing of the implant wound may be compromised.
The dentist can treat peri-implantitis by debriding or thoroughly cleaning the affected area. In addition, he or she may prescribe antibiotics to help kill the infection.
Still, the implant patient can help avoid the condition by brushing and flossing regularly and rinsing with an antibacterial mouth rinse.
Bruxism, which is another name for teeth grinding, can force a dental implant out of position. Once the force of the grinding breaks the bonds between the implant and the jawbone, the implant will not reconnect to the bone. As a result, the implant fails and must be replaced.
Since bruxism occurs at night as the patient is sleeping, it is important for a person who suffers from bruxism to wear a protective guard nightly. The guard absorbs the pressure of the grinding to prevent damage to the dental implant, as well as the natural teeth.
If you are interested in replacing your lost teeth with dental implants, contact our office to schedule an appointment.
If you are missing one or more teeth, you are not alone. According to statistics, 120 million people in the United States have at least one missing tooth. Nevertheless, due to modern dental applications, your lost teeth can be replaced.
Dentists offer multiple tooth-replacement options, including many that employ dental implants, such as single-tooth implant restorations, implant-supported dentures and implant-supported bridges. The implants used in these procedures offer stability and support.
Here is some information about dental implants and how to help ensure their success.