August 21, 2019
Today, dental implants are one of the most reliable treatments in all of dentistry. Once one has been placed into the jawbone and topped with a restoration, it can be trusted to last for an average of 30 years or more. While implant failure is relatively rare, the most common cause tends to be an infection after the placement procedure. Thankfully, if you’re interested in restoring your missing teeth with implants, ensuring your new smile stays nice and healthy right from the beginning is relatively simple. Below, you’ll find some of the most effective ways to prevent infection after getting dental implants in Flushing.
Keep Brushing and Flossing
Even though an implant itself can’t get a cavity, the bone and gum tissue supporting it can develop an infection if a patient doesn’t clean their teeth on a regular basis. This is called peri-implantitis, and it’s basically a form of gum disease that can occur around the base of an implant. It cannot only cause the nearby gums to become swollen and sensitive, but it can also interfere with an implant post’s ability to bond to the surrounding bone, which is the key to an implant’s stability. As the infection progresses, the implant will become looser, and it may even fall out if the condition is ignored for a very long time.
So, what is the best way to keep this from happening? Just brush and floss your teeth every day like you would normally, paying special attention to clean around the base of your implants. This will remove the buildup of plaque that is filled with the peri-implantitis bacteria and stop the infection before it even starts. Consistent oral hygiene is always important, but especially so if you have implants.
Take Care of Chronic Conditions
Chronic conditions like diabetes, osteoporosis, and autoimmune diseases can all leave someone with a compromised immune system that makes them more susceptible to developing infections throughout the body, including the mouth. This inherently puts someone at a higher risk of peri-implantitis, but a few simple precautions can help someone stay safe. Before you have implants placed, be sure to let your dentist know if you have any chronic conditions and whether or not you are taking medication for them. If you are medicated, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions so your body can stay healthy and your implants have the best chance of succeeding.
Avoid Tobacco Entirely
Regularly using tobacco, whether someone smokes, chews, or dips, drastically increases their risk for oral infections, so it’s recommended that a patient completely quit at least two weeks before having implants placed and avoid it during the recovery process. Ideally, a patient would not use tobacco at all, since it can lead to other serious conditions that affect the mouth like oral cancer. Of course, this is easier said than done for many people. If you frequently use tobacco and are interested in getting dental implants, be sure to let your dentist know, and they’ll help you come up with a plan to cut back and hopefully stop altogether.
With the right care, dental implants can easily last for a lifetime, so by keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure your new smile looks great and stays strong decade after decade. If you have any other questions about the implant placement procedure or how you can make sure your new teeth last as long as possible, be sure to consult your dentist.
About the Author
Dr. Richard Gochman is a dentist in Flushing with over 35 years of experience helping patients maintain and rebuild their smiles. A member of the American Dental Implant Association, he and his team can provide a multitude of tooth replacements that are designed to look great and restore full function, no matter how many teeth someone might be missing. If you have any questions about dental implants or what you’ve just read, you’re invited to contact Dr. Gochman through his website.
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